Nearly two-thirds of all Americans (64%) say they are “concerned” or “very concerned” about potentially harmful chemicals and petroleum-based ingredients found in everyday personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products, according to a study released today. Top concerns of petroleum-based products are “long term health effects” (75%) and “absorption through the skin” (71%). Concerns were similar across age, gender and other demographic categories.
Commissioned by Seventh Generation, a leading maker of renewable household and personal care products, the study questioned 1,000 Americans to gauge awareness, attitudes and concerns about ingredients found in products they use daily.
“The level of concern voiced by the American public represents a mandate for immediate, sweeping systemic change,” said Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle. “It’s a big issue with consumers. And it’s getting bigger.”
Full results of the study will be unveiled today during a news conference and panel discussion featuring Deepak Chopra, Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle and Breast Cancer Fund CEO Jeanne Rizzo. This invitation-only event will be held at 10:30 a.m. at abc carpet and home in New York City. Individuals may join via Livestream by logging onto Seventh Generation’s Facebook page at facebook.com/seventhgeneration.
According to Deepak Chopra, M.D., a recognized expert in the field of wellness and sustainability, the study suggests Americans are undermining their wellness through daily exposure to toxins. “The elimination of toxins awakens the capacity for renewal,” said Chopra.
Study Findings: Toxic Concerns High, Biobased Awareness LowThe Study questioned respondents on an array of issues, including awareness of “biobased” products (defined as “products made with renewable agricultural content such as plant, animal, marine or forestry materials”), and their attitudes toward the use of petroleum-based products and petro-chemicals in many common consumer products.
According to the study, Americans are concerned about potentially harmful chemicals in their household cleaning (66%) and personal care products (65%), as well as laundry (63%) and baby care products (60%). Note: percentages combine “concerned” and “very concerned” responses.
When asked specifically about petro-chemicals in personal care, home cleaning, laundry and baby care products, top concerns of “long-term health risks” (75%) and “absorption through the skin” (71%) were followed by “potential skin irritation” (69%), “inhaling toxins” and “negative impact on the environment” (both 60%).
In fact, more than half (54%) went so far as to agree “brands should be required to post warning labels on their packages if their products contain petro-chemicals.” Nearly two-thirds (60%) reported that they are “likely” or “very likely” to seek biobased products the next time they shop.
“This study shows that people understand what the science is telling us — that exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday products increases risk for many diseases, including breast cancer,” said Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO, The Breast Cancer Fund. “As more and more people begin to connect the dots between toxic exposures and disease, they say, ‘Enough! No more toxic trespass! We want safer products!'”
Education Needed, Transparency Demanded on Ingredients in Common Products The study indicates that half of all Americans (50%) are unaware that many personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products contains petroleum-based ingredients or petro-chemicals. When provided with a list of petro-chemicals in these products, 61% reported that they are “likely” or “very likely” to seek biobased products the next time they shop.
58% of respondents reported that they are “actively searching for greener (more energy-efficient, natural, sustainable, etc.) products these days.” In addition, 58% of respondents indicated that they “feel personally responsible to change daily habits and purchase practices to positively impact the environment.”
“It’s time that the consumer products companies lift the veil that has shrouded most ingredients in mystery, allaying unwarranted concern for some, and providing a sound basis for stronger consumer action on others,” said Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle. “There’s no reason they can’t. Seventh Generation has been providing products that supply peace of mind for 25 years.”
Focus on ingredients in everyday household cleaners and personal care products has increased in recent years. In fact, three weeks ago Johnson and Johnson announced plans to remove carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from its personal care products by 2015.
Just this past week, the American Cleaning Institute® launched a Cleaning Product Ingredient Inventory, which catalogs 900+ ingredients used in the U.S. cleaning products market (including soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings).
The study has a margin of error of 3%.
Livestream with Deepak Chopra, Seventh Generation and Breast Cancer Fund Individuals interested in learning more can join Deepak Chopra, Seventh Generation and the Breast Cancer Fund via from abc carpet & home on September 19 at 10:30 AM. Green-living guru Sara Snow will moderate the session.
These experts will discuss the findings of a new study and explore with us the significance of the USDA Certified Biobased label as a credible way for consumers to make conscious choices about the products they bring into their homes.
About Seventh Generation Seventh Generation is committed to being the most trusted brand of household and personal care products for your living home. Our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home — and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation also offers baby products that are safe for your children and the planet. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Every time you use a Seventh Generation product you are making a difference by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, and making the world a better place for this and the next seven generations.
For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company’s website visit www.seventhgeneration.com. To read more about Seventh Generation’s corporate responsibility, visit the 2010 Corporate Consciousness Report.