Some days I fall victim to the green noise syndrome; I’m so overloaded by the green options all around me I don’t know where to go. Bath and cleaning products are one place I always thought I had it right. If I buy the organic, I’m good to go. Or am I?
I just learned last week that in March, Seventh Generation, Method, and other companies that produced green cleaning products were under scrutiny by the Organic Consumers Association. When testing around a hundred “cosmetic, personal care and household cleaning formulas, [the Association] found that nearly 50% of them contained detectable levels of 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in lab animals.” Method, Planet Ultra and Seventh Generation’s “natural” dish cleaning products were among those products that tested positive. All manufacturer’s who tested for 1,4 were asked to remove their “organic” and “natural” labels or they’d face a lawsuit. Just when I thought I was cleaning consciously, I have to go through another round of making change in my lifestyle.
My confusion about what to buy got even greater this week when I found out California was taking more “organic” companies to court. Avalon (Alba), Nutribiotic and Whole Foods are all facing penalties for producing products containing 1,4-dioxane, too. Present in most common bath/body/cleaning products, 1,4-dixoane is not only a carcinogen but has been shown to cause liver and kidney damage simply by “breathing, ingesting” or touching it.