‘Green’ household products aren’t necessarily less toxic, say scientists
Author: Nicole Lin Chang
New research has found that such products aren’t necessarily less toxic or more biodegradable than their conventional counterparts. So-called ‘green’ household cleaning products are booming, with the global market value estimated at $278.52 billion (€278.31 billion) in 2022. They’re typically labelled as being ‘eco-friendly’, but claims of being less toxic or more biodegradable are rarely tested or verified, say scientists from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina in the United States. The researchers looked at six different categories of common household products: laundry detergent, dish detergent, mouthwash, insecticide, dishwasher gel and all-purpose cleaners. The products also included claims like “ingredients derived from natural products, including essential oils and coconut-based cleaners”, “contains plant-based surfactants”, “plant-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients”, and “safe for family and environment”.