Environmental Working Group has made it its mission to bust open the secrecy of the chemical cleaning product industry: “ingredient labels are mandatory for food, cosmetics and drugs—but not for cleaners.”

EWG Cleaners Database Hall of Shame 2012_Page_1

EWG recently released a preview of its upcoming EWG Cleaners Database, revealing shocking information about a number of the most common and most popular cleaning products from air fresheners to furniture polish to floor cleaners to kitchen cleaners and disinfectants.

Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of this list is the number of leading “green” cleaners included, illustrating the widespread use of “greenwashing.”

Here’s a quick list of the Hall of Shame categories and the “winners.” And we’ll share information from the EWG Cleaners Database when it becomes available!

Greenwashing Offenders

  • Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Whink Rust Stain Remover
  • Citra-Solv Cleaner & Degreaser

Banned Abroad (largely the European Union)

  • Spic and Span Multi-Surface and Floor Cleaner
  • Scrubbing Bubbles – Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner & Extend-A-Clean Mega Shower Foamer
  • Mop & Glo Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
  • DampRid Mildew Stain Remover Plus Blocker
  • EASY-OFF Fume Free Oven Cleaner

Drain Cleaners that can burn and blind

  • Drano Professional Strength Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover

Oven Cleaners that emit toxic fumes

  • Walmart Great Value Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
  • CVS/pharmacy Fume-Free Oven Cleaner
  • EASY-OFF Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner Aerosol Spray

Mystery Mixtures

  • Target’s Up & Up: Toilet Bowl Cleaner; Glass and Surface Wipes
  • LA’s Totally Awesome: Orange All Purpose Degreaser & Spot Remover, among others
  • Walmart’s Great Value: Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner; lemon-scented Furniture Polish

Fatal if Inhaled

  • Glade air freshener sprays
  • Air Wick automatic air fresheners
  • Old English furniture polish
  • Spot Shot carpet stain remover

Fatal if Swallowed

  • Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Lime & Rust Remover
  • 2000 Flushes Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • X-14 Toilet Bowl Cleaner

High-hazard Ingredients

  • Hagerty Liquid Jewel Clean (perchloroethylene)
  • Tarn-X Tarnish Remover (thiourea)
  • Ajax, Dynamo and Fab Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergents (formaldehyde aka formalin)

Combatting Static with Toxic Chemicals

  • Static Guard
  • Final Touch Ultra Liquid Fabric Softener

Spray Cleaners with Asthma-causing Ingredients

  • Clorox
  • Fantastik
  • Febreze
  • Formula 409
  • Lysol
  • Mr. Clean
  • Spic and Span

100+ Hidden Chemicals

  • Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder – 146 different chemicals emitted in ingredient testing
  • Febreze Air Effects – 89 air contaminants

Undisclosed Chemicals in the Air

  • Lysol Neutra Air Freshmatic
  • Air Wick Freshmatic Compact
  • Febreze and Glad automatic air fresheners

Dead Zone Detergents—create wastelands in natural land/water runoff areas

  • Finish Glass Magic Hardwater Performance Booster