Canadians expose skeletons in their cleaning closets and demand labelling laws | Finding Solutions | 2012 | Fall | Publications | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Canadians expose skeletons in their cleaning closets and demand labelling laws

Thanks to you, we now have strong evidence to back our demands for better labelling laws for home-cleaning products in Canada.

In the spring, more than 10,500 supporters responded to our call, telling us about the toxic ingredients in their home cleaners. Chemicals in many cleaners have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma and severe allergies. But while there are symbols to warn us about acute hazards—like the skull and crossbones on bleach—the government does not require manufacturers to warn about chronic and environmental hazards.

You dished dirt on more than 15,000 cleaning products, leading us to conclude that Canadians want more information about what's inside their cleaning products. Details can be hard to find.

For instance, only 42 per cent of products surveyed contained a complete ingredients list. And 70 per cent of products claimed to being "green," but just 47 per cent actually displayed an eco-certification.

Meanwhile, 99 per cent of you want companies to be required to disclose the ingredients in their products and use warning labels that identify ingredients linked to chronic diseases.

So what's next?

We're committed to pressuring the federal government for better labelling laws on cleaners. After all, Canada requires that personal care products include ingredients displayed on their label in a standard format—so why not cleaners too? Our illustration shows exactly what we want to see on a label. It's not too much to ask.

Join us in demanding better labelling laws by sending a letter to Canada's Health Minister. Visit http://action.davidsuzuki.org/comeclean.

And if you haven't already, it's time to break up with your harmful household cleaners. Safely dispose of your household hazardous wastes and replace them with healthy cleaning alternatives. Learn more at queenofgreen.ca.

By Leanne Clare.