Dangers of Household Cleaners
You are exposed to a variety of untested chemicals each day. Many of these chemicals could be ingredients in your household cleaners. While there has not been a lot of uproar about the use of untested chemicals in many other common household products, there is a growing groundswell of concern about the use of potentially hazardous chemicals used in the stuff that you clean your home with every day. That is because modern medicine is quickly learning that what you use to clean your countertops has a nasty way of ending up inside you.
Every time the dishwasher is used, laundry is washed, or the toilet is cleaned, all of those cleaners are washed down the drain into our public waterways, where you hope that they are effectively removed before becoming part of your drinking water. For wildlife, though, there is no water filtration if these chemicals are dumped directly into their habitat, causing extensive harm.
It will probably surprise you to find out that home cleaning products have barely any regulation in the United States. The FDA does not have the jurisdiction to regulate cleaning chemicals, while the EPA only regulates products registered as pesticides, otherwise known as disinfectants.
Lack of Safety Testing
Federal law does not require any mandatory pre-market health testing for chemicals used in consumer products. It is up to the manufacturer to do the health and safety testing for the ingredients of the cleaner. Usually the testing is only done for one specific ingredient at high doses and does not account for the fact that chemicals might be mixed. For example, the health effects of mixing a carpet deodorizer with a carpet cleaner applied directly afterward are not researched, yet the chemicals could cause reactions when mixed together. Testing is done for shorter-term health effects, rather than long-term doses of the product, such as a lifetime of using a particular window cleaner.
A majority of household cleaning products that you dispose of must be thrown away as hazardous waste. That means that you can't just simply throw them out in your weekly trash. Find out your city or municipality's hazardous waste policies and collection days and dispose of cleaners in the appropriate way.
Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients of household cleaners. This is so that they can protect their cleaning recipes, which are considered a trade secret. But it also means that manufacturers could put anything that they want to in your cleaner, unless it has been specifically banned by the federal government (very few chemicals are), and you will never be aware of it.