Mr Clean Pleads The Fifth while Simple Green Sings Like a Canary
Concern over the association between household cleaning products and nerve damage, ill health effects and breathing related illness like asthma, is leading the way to consumer protection. Although SC Johnson's new website shines with ingredient transparency, the move is considered unusual. Household cleaning manufacturers do not routinely disclose their ingredient lists. In fact they will go so far as pleading The Fifth to protect their product ingredient information from being released to consumers.
A little known law in the state of New York is pushing manufacturers to full disclosure. The law, which state regulations made mandatory in 1976, mandates the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to require household cleaning product manufacturers to disclose their chemical ingredients and information about the health risks they pose. The law has largely been ignored until recently.
February 4, 2010 in the New York State Supreme Court, Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell began historic arguments over chemical disclosure which will prove to benefit not only the consumers of New York but all consumers in the US. Although the manufacturer of Simple Green filed disclosure reports as a result of the law, companies such as Procter & Gamble (makers of Mr. Clean), Colgate-Palmolive, Church and Dwight, and Reckitt-Benckiser refused to disclose ingredients. They made it clear that they will not disclose ingredients until they are forced to do so by authorities.
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