Dangers of Household Chemicals Essay

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| “Hazards of Cleaning Products” | Katherine Dowd | | | | | Nationwide, ninety percent of domestic workers are women, over one-third are Latinas. Domestic workers are prone to the hazards and side effects of household cleaners that they use on a daily basis and may think are safe. Rates of minority employment in the cleaning industry will also vary by region. One study conducted in San Francisco found that 99% of hotel room cleaners were female, 31% were Filipina, 35% were other Asians and 28% were Latina. For 95% of these hotel workers, English was a second language. Many Latina workers who do not speak and/or read English are exposed to harmful chemicals through the household cleaners they use, through home and work. Since they are not educated on how to use these chemicals, the results are the sensation of irritated eyes and a burning sensation of the hands, and difficulty in breathing. The west coast has begun to tackle this situation with programs like Casa Latina who educate domesticated Latinas to go green, incorporating baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar in their household cleaning. Currently in the U.S. there is almost no regulation of chemicals used in the home (pesticides are the only exception). According to a comprehensive review of the laws by the Environmental Working Group, chemical manufacturers are not required to perform any health or safety studies prior to the marketing and sale of a chemical and are not required to do any monitoring of chemicals once they are in use. The manufacturers are allowed to claim virtually all information related to a chemical as confidential business information and can forever shield it from government and public review. Twenty percent of the 80,000 chemicals in cleaning products are considered toxic, but not required by national legislation to be listed on the product. The Toxic Substances

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