Body Lotions, Cleaning Fluids and Other Commonly Used Products Contain Toxic Chemicals, Study Finds

Body Lotions, Cleaning Fluids and Other Commonly Used Products

It’s safe to use home goods like body lotions, shampoos, cleaners, and other things like that, right? Many of us believe that to be the case, but a recent study from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the Silent Spring Institute shows that these goods actually contain dangerous compounds that may be harmful to our health.

These common goods frequently contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These substances, which are gases that penetrate the environment, can lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer.

The study’s authors reported their findings in The Conversation. “We found that many household products, including shampoos, body lotions, cleaners, and mothballs, release toxic volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into indoor air.

” Additionally, we discovered toxic VOCs that are common in goods that employees use frequently at work, including cleaning solutions, adhesives, paint removers, and nail polish. However, due to legal voids surrounding ingredient disclosure, neither users of products nor employees are generally aware of what is contained in them.

The research was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology under the title Identifying Toxic Consumer Products: A Novel Data Set Reveals Air Emissions of Potent Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxicants, and Developmental Toxicants.

According to main author Kristin Knox, a scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, this study is the first to show the extent to which harmful VOCs are employed in commonplace products of all kinds that could cause major health issues, as reported by Making this information widely available might encourage producers to rework their goods and switch to safer ingredients.

The analysis found that in 2020, consumer products in California’s homes and workplaces released more than 5,000 tons of chemicals that are known to cause cancer.

The Conversation noted that for the study, the researchers examined data acquired by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on consumer goods VOCs released into the atmosphere in an effort to reduce smog levels.

The researchers discovered that 33 harmful VOCs listed under California Proposition 65, the state’s right-to-know law, were present in more than 100 consumer products. Businesses must inform Californians of any significant exposure to chemicals that are known to damage reproduction or cause cancer, according to legislation passed in 1986.

Products Contain Toxic Chemical

Because of their widespread usage and high levels of toxicity, the researchers designated 11 chemicals in 30 different types of products as a high priority for regulatory action or being replaced with safer alternatives.

The researchers also found that there is a good chance that people get exposed to several harmful substances through product mixes.

Janitors, for instance, might mix general cleaners, degreasers, detergents, and other maintenance supplies. According to the study’s authors, this might expose kids to more than 20 different VOCs that are listed under Prop 65.

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Diethanolamine was one substance that was found in 40 different product categories. Its usage in cosmetics is prohibited in Canada and the European Union because, when combined with other substances, it can react to produce compounds that may cause cancer.

While many personal care items and art supplies used by kids and expectant women contain some of the chemicals listed under Proposition 65, they also harm development and reproduction.

According to the authors, it is not necessary to disclose numerous dangerous chemicals to the Air Resources Board since they do not change from liquid to gas at room temperature, such as PFAS, lead, and bisphenol A (BPA).’



Because the products in CARB’s database are sold all over the country, this study illustrates how much work remains for product manufacturers and regulators, according to co-author Claudia Polsky, director of the Environmental Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, as reported by

Previous studies have found that because women use more personal care, cosmetic, and cleaning items than males, they are more likely to be exposed to harmful substances through these products.

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In addition, there is a special need to worry about worker exposure in settings like hair and nail salons where a variety of products are frequently used and each of them is likely to have been created with at least one dangerous chemical, if not many more.

The same is true for construction and automotive workers. According to, co-author Meg Schwarzman, a physician and environmental health expert at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, cautioned that the cumulative effects of all these exposures could be seriously harmful. Workers should, at the very least, be aware of their exposures. In the end, though, they deserve safer products, and this study ought to pressure manufacturers to make significant adjustments to safeguard the health of employees.

Author: Deepak Grover

Deepak works on enviro360 as a senior content editor. He reports on the latest events and changes in the technology, climate, and entertainment industry. Moreover, he is quite interested in knowing every single piece of information about celebrity's lifestyles and daily updates. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports, as well as spending time with his family.

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