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EWG to Remove Certification Score Boost

Date posted: 2019-02-15

After careful consideration, EWG has decided to adjust our scoring methods to remove the score boost we give products that have obtained Green Seal and Ecologo certification. These certifications remain robust indicators of healthier and more environmentally friendly products compared to conventional counterparts but we no longer view the score boost as necessary or warranted.

Disclosure Scoring Update

Date posted: 2019-02-01

Ingredient information found on the label is often missing or incomplete, hindering the public from making better choices while they shop. EWG has updated the Guide to Healthy Cleaning to reflect the increased company adoption of digital tools that offer the public access to more complete ingredient information on the go. Starting in February 2019, if a product label has a machine-scannable barcode or QR code that allows consumers to access further ingredient information at the point of sale, the website disclosure score is multiplied by 1.5 and it is calculated from a possible nine points. For more details on our disclosure scoring, please visit step 8 (calculating a product disclosure score) of our methodology.

Updates coming in 2019

Date posted: 2019-01-18

EWG is conducting toxicity reviews and updating references to ensure we incorporate the latest science. The new data includes the most recently available chemical hazard information from the European Chemicals Agency based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of chemicals, and may or may not affect ingredient and product scores.

Simple Green Update

Date posted: 2018-05-18

EWG is updating the Guide to Healthy Cleaning to reflect new information from Simple Green.

August 2017 Update

Date posted: 2017-08-31

Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest maker of both household cleaning and personal care products, introduces the most sweeping fragrance ingredient transparency initiative to date. Click here to read more.

May 2017 Update

Date posted: 2017-05-25

With the announcement by S.C. Johnson that it will disclose the presence of hundreds of potential skin allergens that could be found in its products, the family-owned company continues its role as an industry leader in the area of transparency. Click here to read more.

Spring 2016 Update

Date posted: 2016-04-06

In April 2016, EWG added more than 400 new products or formulations to the Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Our update focused on the cleaning products used most frequently in the home – laundry, dish and all-purpose cleaners. How did this crop of products fare? Click here to read our latest analysis.

March 2013 Update

Date posted: 2013-03-27

EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning has been updated to include more products and brands. Search now to learn how your cleaning products rate and if there are healthier alternatives.

"Natural" Extracts Can Trigger Allergies

Date posted: 2013-02-08

By Johanna Congleton, EWG Senior Scientist

Allergies are an increasingly serious health issue for millions of Americans, especially children.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  estimates that the number of American children and teenagers reported to suffer skin allergies more than quadrupled, from 2 million reported cases between 1999 and 2001 to nearly 9 million between 2008 and 2010.   Another 12.6 million children and teens were estimated to suffer from respiratory allergies in 2008 to 2010, the CDC said, almost triple the estimate of 4.4 million in 1999 to 2001.

EWG to review formaldehyde releasers

Date posted: 2012-12-03

The Environmental Working Group has launched an investigation of ingredients added to cleaning products in order to release formaldehyde. Manufacturers of cleaners compound their products with these chemicals knowing they will break down in a gradual time-release manner to generate small amounts of formaldehyde that serve as a preservative to retard the growth of bacteria.

This industry practice may pose health risks for consumers.

The U.S. government and World Health Organization classify inhaled formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. Skin contact with formaldehyde may cause an allergic reaction. Formaldehyde is a skin sensitizer: repeated exposures increase the chance of having an allergic reaction.

People daily encounter background levels of airborne formaldehyde from vehicle exhaust fumes and other air pollutants. Still, we believe it is prudent for consumers to avoid additional exposure to formaldehyde via cleaning products and personal care items because there is no known safe level of the chemical.

Cleaning product manufacturers can switch to other preservative methods that do not rely on formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.

While we take a close look at the human health risks posed by the presence of these chemicals in cleaning products, we continue to advise consumers to read labels carefully and seek out products free of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing substances.

The formaldehyde releasers found in many cleaning products include:

  • DMDM hydantoin (trade name Glydant)
  • Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol)
  • Quaternium-15
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • Hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-S-triazine (trade name Grotan)

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About the ratings About the ratings
EWG provides information on cleaning product ingredients from the published scientific... continue reading →
EWG provides information on cleaning product ingredients from published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors that determine actual health risks, if any. (Hide)
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