Reporting Stephanie Stahl
By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The products you use every day contain chemicals you may not be aware of, and some of them could cause health problems.
You probably have products with these chemicals all over your home, in your bathroom, laundry, and your kitchen. But if you want to avoid them, it’s difficult to know what you should buy.
Buffy Hornung takes care of her body, and reads the labels on products she buys, which she assumes are complete and accurate.
“If there is something in a store, especially a main store, a chain store, I am going to think that product is safe,” said Buffy.
But the Silent Spring Institute tested 213 everyday products and found 55 chemical compounds, including BPA, parabens and triclosans. And some say they can cause asthma or disrupt the hormone system.
Additionally, the study found the highest concentrations of the potentially hazardous chemicals in fragrant products like perfume, are fresheners, dryer sheets and sunscreen.
“The bottom line is they were testing for a number of these chemicals that were showing up in products and weren’t listed on the labels,” said Michael Hansen, with Consumer Reports. He says new packaging and ingredient labeling regulation would help solve the problem.
“I kind of assume that everything is in the label. I should not be left in the dark of what I am getting,” said Buffy.
Critics of the study say it has several flaws, including that the products were tested together in batches, instead of one by one. And the study doesn’t say how much exposure to the chemicals causes health problems.
The FDA is considering a ban on one of the chemical compounds in the report. A decision should be announced by the end of the month.