Monday, March 9, 2015

Are There Hidden Hazards in Green Products?

If a product is labeled "organic", "natural", or "green", should it be considered safe?
It is no secret that advertisers are skilled at getting us to purchase items we want but ultimately do not need, like the red shoes sitting in your closet.  They are fueled by using our hopes and fears.  When you have chronic illnesses, low immune systems, and many other invisible ailments, you are more aware of your food intake and the consumer products you purchase.  We tend to look for products labeled "organic", "natural" and "green".   When we see products labeled in this manner we first assume the product is safe.  These words are now used by companies and advertisers to get our attention and to purchase items that in themselves are not always safe.  These products may only meet the minimum standards for what the government allows for labeling an item "organic" or "green".Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering and Chair of Sustainable Cities at The University of Melbourne, published a new study entitled, Volatile Emissions from Common Consumer Products.  Her  media release and  paper discuss the hazards found in green products citing the emissions from a broad range of consumer products, including "fragranced", "fragrance-free", "green", and "organic" products.  See the links above for her full report.  As she stated in an email, "I think you'll find the results interesting."