Many common household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, evaluated more than 2,000 cleaning products and found over half contained ingredients adverse to health, such as benzene and formaldehyde. When these products are used at home, the EPA found that VOC levels could be two to five times higher than outdoors. As we close up the house and turn on the air conditioning, these chemicals are circulated, not filtered out. When thrown away or washed down the drain, they enter our watershed and end up in our lakes and rivers.
What we can do:
- Look for EPA’s “Safer Choice” labels on cleaning products.
- Check the Environmental Working Group’s ratings
- Use white vinegar and water. Many recipes are on the web.