audio fileWomen’s Health and Environment Initiative

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Interview transcript by Heather Sarantis of The Collaborative on Health and the Environment.

Heather: You were involved in a report that just came out released by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) regarding cleaning products. Can you tell us how that project came together and what sort of impact you hope it will have.

Ann: I had been working on the impacts of industrial cleaning products on the environment and human health. There is a very high rate of chemical exposure, both acute and chronic toxicity, from industrial cleaning. I was talking to WVE about that and we decided to put together some research and a report on what the potential hazards might be for household cleaning products which often have the same chemicals though in diluted form. The problem in both cases is we don’t have enough information on what the chemicals are in those products, and in fact the little info we have about household products very often comes from our experience in industrial cleaning products. And so we were looking at things that were appearing disproportionately in the women and children we focused on in research in asthma and reproductive harm. We found a little bit of data, most of it indicating considerable concern about potential exposures for children and women from household cleaning products. (read more)