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Study Finds Many Household Cleaning Products Emit Harmful Chemicals, Even ‘Green’ Ones

Payam Javan: A new study has found that many household cleaning products, including those marketed as eco-friendly and “green,” can emit harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The study, published in the journal Chemosphere, analyzed 28 cleaning products and two air fresheners for VOCs. Researchers found that all of the products emitted VOCs, but “green” products emitted fewer VOCs than conventional products, and fragrance-free products emitted even fewer VOCs than products with fragrance.

VOCs can have a variety of health effects, including respiratory problems, neurological damage, reproductive harm, and cancer. Researchers said that the findings of the study suggest that consumers should choose “green” and fragrance-free cleaning products to reduce their exposure to VOCs.

The American Cleaning Institute, which represents producers of cleaning products, said that manufacturers have been working to reduce VOCs in products. However, the trade group also criticized the researchers for the criteria they used to judge products as “conventional” or “green.”

The study is a reminder that even “green” cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals. Consumers should carefully read product labels and choose products that are fragrance-free and have low VOC emissions.

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