"Greenwashing" is fake news!
It's when companies make claims or mislead the consumer in some way to make them believe their products are eco friendly, natural, organic etc etc - you get our drift!
There is little or no regulation around wording such as "eco" . A classic example was when I was at the supermarket the other day and watched a lovely young mum clearly conscious of her family's health and well being by the loading onto the conveyor belt of all organic food, preservative free etc etc, and then a well known supermarket stocked cleaning item that throws about the term "eco". This line contains ingredients that start from plants, but are engineered in labs with solvents and chemicals to create things which really, are not very eco friendly at all.
So today we lay down a challenge - if you are using an "eco" type brand of cleaner go have a look at the ingredients and see what these contain. You will find:
Lauryl & Decyl Glucoside: Comes from Coconut Oil or Palm Oil and Sugar. Made in a lab. Considered Safe. Formed by reacting with alcohols.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Comes from Coconut Oil and usually petroleum derived. Classed as "semi synthetic". It is a suspected immunotoxic. It's predecessor is now a banned substance due to it's carcinogenic properties. This was listed in a "sensitive baby care" product.
Benzalkonium Chloride: One of the most alarming thing for me about this one was the company using it stated "they do not use chlorides".... . Considered "Best avoided". Has a number of suspected effects including immuno, respiratory, liver, and neurotoxic. Is made from a reaction of alkyldimethylamine with benzyl chloride, petroleum derived quaternary ammonium compound. Sounds natural to me... NOT.
Hydroxyethyl Cellulose: May be GM, cellulose polymer petroleum derived. considered safe. Again alarmed by company's claims of "no petrochemicals".
Limonene: Commonly found in "natural" products. Obtained from citrus peels and pulp. It is considered "caution advised". Studies show wildlife and environmental toxicity. It is derived from plant matter. It is NOT an essential oil!
Benzyl Alcohol: Considered "best avoided". Usually petroleum derived from benzyl chloride and sodium carbonate. Has all sorts of potential effects, although there remains insufficient data. But there is little doubt it is an irritant at best.
Phenoxyethanol: Considered "best avoided". Suspected reproductive and developmental toxicity, toxic to kidneys, nervous system and liver. Derived from petroleum. Found in a supermarket "eco" laundry liquid!
Ammonium chloride: Made from hydrochloric acid and ammonia. "Caution advised". Classified as an irritant. Suspected cardiovascular toxicity. Suspected environmental toxicity. In a supermarket "eco" handwash.
ALL of these products I took a quick snapshot of were packaged in PLASTIC BOTTLES.
We are NOT saying "don't use" products with these ingredients. We are simply making the point that "eco" and "natural" doesn't always equate to quite what you might think - I know as a previous consumer of these goods I wasn't happy when I took the time to look at the ingredient list.
It is a classic example of "Greenwashing".
One of these companies has been censured already for it's claim.
Finally, I'll point out another company that needs to be censured for claiming "gluten free" in it's labelling on cleaning products. Consumer NZ recently won a ruling that making a claim such as this to try to evoke a positive response from consumers, but that is totally irrelevant to the product usage was unlawful. Now in my home we don't ingest the cleaning products so their gluten free status isn't high on my list of priorities when selecting them... and we will probably be dead from what else is in them first!!
Info above was taken from a published book and app called "Chemical Maze" - a really well researched authority and one of my most used apps on my phone.