As a kid, when it was my turn to clean the bathroom, I'd put up a fight. "But Mom! Using that spray gives me a headache!" She'd quickly send me back upstairs with the toilet brush to get the job done. Turns out, though, I might not have been bluffing. A new study confirms that many scented household cleaners (even the green or all-natural ones!) can spew toxic chemicals.
Now, as an adult who chooses to clean with mostly vinegar-based homemade cleaners, I don't get the same headaches from fumes that I remember from my teenage years. So my own home experiments seemed to confirm what this study from the University of Washington shows: many household cleaners emit toxins into the air through the scents, even though the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not listed on the label.
Since manufacturers are not required to list scents on their ingredient lists, these VOCs can go undetected by the average consumer. Angie's post about decoding fragrances in cleansers sheds a lot of light on the topic, too.
So, what's a green housekeeper to do?