Syracuse Post Standard (Letter to the editor): Health at issue with household cleaning items

(March 14, 2011)

Published: Monday, March 14, 2011

By Readers' Page

To the Editor:
The state Department of Environmental Conservation should be applauded for proposing regulations that would enlighten the public about the chemical ingredients contained in household cleaning products. For the millions of state residents who suffer from lung diseases, including asthma, being armed with this information could mean the difference between triggering an asthma attack and staying healthy (“NY to seek contents, health impacts of cleansers,” March 3).

Studies have shown a link between chemicals in common household cleaners and respiratory irritation, asthma and allergies. Yet despite this relationship, it’s near impossible right now for people to determine whether these particular chemicals are present in the cleaning products they are using in their homes.

The Lung Association supports full disclosure of chemicals in cleaning products as required under New York state law. Voluntary ingredient disclosure programs, like those mentioned in your article, simply do not go far enough. People suffering from lung ailments and all New Yorkers deserve to have reliable information that is readily available so they can do their part to protect their own health. We hope to see the proposed regulations approved in their present form.

Irwin Berlin
Board chair, American Lung Association in New York