Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Something's In The Air

You know how those strong household cleansers kind of hurt your nose and sinuses after you do a good scrub? Well, it seems that all is not well in the clean machine.
A University of Washington study of top-selling laundry products and air fresheners found the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. All six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals was listed on the product labels.
The researcher, Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs, chose not to disclose the names of the common products, but the results were alarming.
"I was surprised by both the number and the potential toxicity of the chemicals that were found," Steinemann said. Chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and nail-polish remover; limonene, a molecule with a citrus scent; as well as acetaldehyde, chloromethane and 1,4-dioxane.

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