Consumer Product Green Washing, Toxins, and Plastics in your Food

Clorox Company, which makes the eponymous bleach, Lestoil, Pine Sol, S.O.S and Tilex among other brands in Canada, announced they will voluntarily move to disclose allergens in their products' fragrances.

Health Canada allows manufacturers to use the words "parfum" or "aroma" in place of a list of individually named ingredients.

The Canadian Medical association hasn't taken a position on multiple chemical sensitivity.

On Sunlight Green Clean Laundry Soap, Purex Natural Elements, and Clorox Greenworks, the label promises "plant-based cleaning ingredients." Once water is eliminated, 2, 30 and 38 per cent respectively of the product is made of petro-chemicals. Those chemicals leave a major environmental footprint in terms of extraction, refinement and processing.

The label of the product, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner says that it is non-toxic, but one ingredient in the cleaner, 2-butoxyethanol, is listed by Environment Canada as a toxic health hazard that can damage red blood cells.

The point is no one is policing use of terms such as non-toxic on household products. The toxin is also not listed on the back of the product because there's currently no requirement for ingredient lists on cleaning products.

Dawn Antibacterial Dish Soap labels feature baby seals and ducklings with the promise that "Dawn helps save wildlife." Dawn donates soap to clean up animals after oil spills and gives money to rescue groups, but the product itself contains an ingredient harmful to animals (Triclosan is the antibacterial agent first registered as a pesticide in 1967).

Biodegradable J Cloth, as the name suggests, is an environmentally friendly alternative to paper towels. It even has an official-looking biodegradable seal, yet it can't go in a Green Bin; it is approved for landfill sites only.

T-fal Natura frying pan advertises the pan as free of PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, a man-made chemical used in the manufacture of non-stick cookware, and a likely human carcinogen. The fact is there's never been PFOA in T-fal frying pans. The company is using PFOAs in the manufacturing process to make the pan, true, it is not in the pan itself. The environment, however, is not "free" from the manufacturing process.

Organic Melt Ice Remover brings up one of the key concerns around using rock salt to melt ice, i.e. it damages aquatic life when it reaches rivers, streams and our groundwater. Organic Melt Ice Remover advertises itself as being "environmentally safe" and an "agricultural-based product" made with sugar beets. Only three per cent of its product is made from sugar beets by weight and the rest is rock salt — that despite the fact that the ingredient list puts beets first.

There's no requirement for companies to put the main ingredient first on the list!

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Even Vim PowerPro Naturals Bathroom Cleaner says 98 percent natural ingredients. "The word natural is totally unregulated," says Ecoholic author, Adria Vasil. CBC's Marketplace commissioned a test on the product and like many cleaning products, it largely contained water. When water was eliminated, one-quarter of the product was found to be petroleum-based chemicals. Unilever (the largest processed food manufacturer in the world) stated, "Our 'naturally derived' claim is based on all the ingredients in the product, including water."

Raid EarthBlends Multi-bug Killer is made with an insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower, "A lot of things in nature are actually dangerous and toxic," said Vasil. "Not all natural things are good for you, and this is a perfect example."

Generally, homeowners are banned from using such pesticides on their lawns across Canada, except in BC and Saskatchewan. Did you know you can use pesticides on your bed? "Banned from your backyard, but OK for your bed?"

And there are other toxins too...

And there are other toxins too..

A 2009 Health Canada study finds baby bottles BPA-free among those leaching the BPA chemical even though banned in 2008 by Health Canada.

"These tiny amounts are not harmful," says Health Canada.

What 'BPA-free' really means...

In 2015, scientists at the University of Calgary looked at BPA and its alternative, bisphenol S (BPS), and found that both could cause alterations in brain development in zebrafish.

Zebrafish are often used by researchers studying embryonic brain development because the fish share 80 percent of the genes found in humans.

Environmental Health News previously reported, BPS is widespread.

In the past several years, BPS has replaced BPA in the printing of thermal paper used for cash register receipts. Every thermal receipt tested in a study published last year contained BPS.

Nearly everyone worldwide is exposed to BPS. Eighty-one percent of urine samples from eight different countries contained traces of it, according to a study published last year. In comparison, about 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine.

A study by researchers from the University of Texas published last year found that low levels of BPS were linked to the disruption of estrogen and were "cause for concern."

168! - That’s how many cosmetic ingredients the average American is exposed to daily, according to an EWG survey. That's how many ingredients (creams, make-up, deodorant, perfumes, lotions) get placed on your body by you per day!

Major Procter and Gamble (P&G) brands such as Tide, Pantene, Herbal Essence, Crest, Colgate and CoverGirl are full of carcinogens and are sold to customers without so much as a warning on the label. It's true!

P&G, the manufacturer of Crest, stated, "We are discontinuing our limited use of micro plastic beads (poly ethylene (PE) in personal care products as soon as alternatives are qualified." According to, P&G has said that will be by 2017.

Know your ingredients!

Colgate is no better; it uses triclosan. It's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says, "Do not dump into sewers, any body of water or onto the ground.” Yet, it is OK for your mouth? Go figure.

2010: The EWG’s Campaign’s report "Not So Sexy" found diethyl phthalate (DEP) in 12 of the 17 fragrances tested. Two dangerous phthalates used to soften plastics and carry scents, called DBP and DEHP, have largely been eliminated from cosmetics because of consumer awareness and pressure, but the industry continues to use DEP. Go figure.

Plastics in your food?

Yes, it's true, Subway removed azodicarbonamide (ADA), a chemical used to make yoga mats from its bread. EWG suspected this was only the tip of the iceberg and decided to find out what other foods contain ADA. Their analysis found it was in nearly 500 foods. Consider who else is using plastic in your food. The list includes: Pillsbury, Sara Lee, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker's, Fleischman's, Jimmy Dean, Kroger, Little Debbie, Tyson and Wonder.

Coca Cola, Kraft Foods, Starbucks (non-organic coffee) and Pepsi Co. all contributed to Grocery Manufacturers Association's $100 million anti-GMO campaigns. Some 60 to 70 percent of processed foods in grocery stores likely contain some genetically engineered ingredients. Is GMO food toxic? We shall see because we are the rats; how are you feeling?