Chlorine bleach is an incredibly dangerous product. It releases dioxin, furans and other organochlorines into the air, causes sore throat, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs and studies have shown a relationship between dioxin exposure and cancer, birth defects, and developmental/reproductive disorders. Clorox is probably the biggest producer of chlorine bleach, certainly the most well-known, and it has just been announced that they are going to start disclosing all ingredients for every product they manufacture. The LA Times reported that Clorox Chairman and CEO Don Knauss said “This additional information about our products is a natural next step to take … as we continue to drive transparency and industry leadership in the area of product ingredient communication.”
Great news, right? Eh. Whether they tell us what the ingredients are or not doesn’t make their products any less toxic or dangerous. The Sierra Club of course jumped right on board praising the decision, but one has to keep in mind that they took an undisclosed amount of money from Clorox in exchange for endorsing some of their cleaning products. PR Watch noted that in an unprecedented move by one of the Big Green environmental groups, the “Sierra Club’s national board voted March 25 to remove the leaders of the Club’s 35,000-member Florida chapter, and to suspend the Chapter for four years.”
What did the chapter do? According to Peter Montague, it was “highly critical of the national board’s decision in mid-December 2007 to allow The Clorox Company to use the Sierra’s Club’s name and logo to market a new line of non-chlorinated cleaning products called ”˜Green Works.’ In return, Clorox Company will pay Sierra Club an undisclosed fee, based partly on product sales.” When grass-roots members pointed out that Clorox was fined $95,000 for violating U.S. pesticide laws just as the deal with the Club was being brokered, staffer Johanna O’Kelley dismissed Clorox’s culpability, saying their violation was “a technicality.”
Yep. That’s just how useful The Sierra Club has been as of late in terms of protecting the environment.
But back to Clorox and their new-found concern for disclosing their ingredient lists. Clorox is well-known for their previous greenwash attempts, for still testing ingredients on animals, and for buying “natural” companies (Clorox buys Burts Bees) in order to improve their environmental standing in the retail space. Disclosed ingredient lists?
No thanks, I already know enough to avoid the products.
If you need to use a bleach-type product, do yourself and your family a favor and check out some of these eco-friendly alternatives to bleach. Just because a company says they will tell you what is in their product doesn’t make said product any better. It’s safer to just avoid toxic products altogether, including bleach with a full ingredient list.
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