Home Safety: What's in Your Household Cleaner?

If you've ever wondered whether the products you use to clean your home could be causing health issues, you're not alone.

And now, amid pressure from environmental, health and consumer groups, makers of household cleaning agents are beginning to reveal more about the chemicals in their products, in some cases hoping to head off requirements for greater disclosure.

New York was the first state to require makers of household cleaners to reveal the chemical makeup of their products. Although the law has been on the books for 34 years, only recently has the state begun enforcing the law, bowing to pressure from environmental groups.

As many as 59 percent of Americans say they're concerned about chemicals in their household cleaners, according to a survey released in June by Shelton Group, an advertising firm representing environmental advocates. Credit the green movement and new research that has shown a rise in occupational asthma among custodial workers and linked chemicals in cleansers to breast cancer in humans and infertility in mice.

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