Use of “green” cleaning products may improve indoor air quality, study says

Consumers can slash their exposure to certain types of indoor air pollution by using “green” labeled cleaning products, according to new research. 

In a study published this month in the journal Chemosphere, researchers detected nearly 200 hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in common household cleaning products — some at levels that could pose a risk to human health. Products that were labeled “green” or “fragrance-free” were less likely to contain VOCs, they found. 

Many VOCs have both immediate health impacts, such as eye or throat irritation, and long-term impacts, such as nervous system damage or cancer. 

“This study is a wake-up call for consumers, researchers and regulators to be more aware of the potential risks associated with the numerous chemicals entering our indoor air,” said Alexis Temkin, an author of the study and senior toxicologist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and consumer advocacy organization.