Some 'Eco-friendly' products not so friendly

30th March 2015

We at Going Solar take great care in the selection of the products we choose to sell that help people to live more sustainably. We are aware that there are less than desirable products on the market and of the constant need to guard against ‘greenwash’ – where unsound products are marketed on the basis of their environmental friendliness (or lack of it) as this article from AAP (4/3/15) explains: 

"Many common household products marked as 'green' contain dangerous chemicals that could harm human health and the environment, a study has found. In a test of 37 air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry products and personal care products, including baby shampoo, the University of Melbourne found 156 volatile compounds, 42 of which are classified as toxic or hazardous under US law.

"Almost none of the compounds were disclosed on the label or on the material safety data sheet, said study author Dr Anne Steinemann, of the school of engineering. 'The public lacks full and accurate information on the ingredients in these products', she said.

"Dr Steinemann said Australian law did not require makers of household products to list all their ingredients. Cosmetics and personal care product must list all ingredients. However, the ingredients of a 'fragrance' do not need to be disclosed in any product. A fragrance can be a mixture of several dozen to several hundred chemicals. Dr Steinemann said the seven "green" products tested contained similar volatile compounds to those in the regular products.

"The names of the products tested have not been released, but she said they were commonly used in the home, schools, hospitals, workplaces and hotels. The most common chemicals in fragrances were terpenes, such as limonene and alpha-pinene."



At Going Solar we sell the ECOLOGIC range of cleaning products prepared by Organic Formulations. They are locally made - at Riddells Creek in Victoria -  with all natural ingredients. We asked them to comment on the report and here is their response:

"Organic Formulations applauds the scrutiny of so called 'green' products and the University of Melbourne study highlights a growing area of concern for consumers concerned with their health and the shopping choices they make. The study highlights the fact that as opposed to personal care products, manufacturers of household products were not bound by the same labelling laws.

"Organic Formulations products including Ecologic cleaning products maintain a strict policy of full disclosure of all included ingredients. We are ACO certified processors and our whole ethos is based on the purest of natural and organic ingredients manufactured without additives, harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances, thus improving your health and having the least impact on our precious environment."

Daniela Tarantello, Founder and Director, Organic Formulations.