From Shelf to Sound: Hidden and Hazardous Chemicals in Everyday Products
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Fragranced consumer products (such as cleaners, air fresheners, laundry supplies, and personal care products) are widely used in homes, businesses, institutions, and public places. While prevalent, these products can contain chemicals that harm human and environmental health, and that are found in stormwater, wastewater, and water bodies such as Puget Sound. Moreover, these chemicals are typically not disclosed on product labels or material safety data sheets. This presentation provides results from an analysis of fragranced consumer products, the hazardous and undisclosed chemicals in those products, and their presence in water systems in the region. Among 24 best-selling products tested (including ones called "green" or "organic"), more than 150 volatile organic compounds were identified, many of which are classified as toxic or hazardous, but virtually none of which were listed on any product label or material safety data sheet. Results point to a need for improved understanding and disclosure of product constituents, and their fate and transport in water systems, and effects on human and environmental health.
- The Water Center