House: Air fresheners, cleaners, laundry products, and personal care products can contain over one hundred different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with an average of 17 VOCs per product. Dozens of these VOCs are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws; yet are generally not listed on product labels. Regarding VOCs in air fresheners, cleaners, and personal care products, Claudia Miller, an allergist and immunologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio says, “The best smell is no smell.” Remember:
Clothes: Storing freshly dry-cleaned clothes in your closet can cause high concentrations of perchloroethylene—or perc—in the home. Perc is “Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” according to U.S. National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens and is the chemical used during commercial dry cleaning. Fortunately, current technology allows cleaners to effectively clean clothes without the chemicals. Wetcleaners use only a small amount of detergent, special machines, and cold water. Any items that are traditionally dry cleaned can also be wetcleaned.
Carbon dioxide, which becomes a liquid under high pressure, is another chemical-free alternative to dry cleaning. Across the U.S.:
-Melissa Cooper Sargent, December 2012
Printable pdf: Holiday Green and Clean
Published on December 10, 2012