Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring cleaning green cleaners

I've always admired Seventh Generation as one of the goods guys. The kind of business that gets it. A company that names itself after a guiding principle of the Iroquois Confederacy. And wraps itself in attractive green packaging.

I've been buying their products for years.

But today I learned that the Seventh Generation detergents (like this beauty sitting on my kitchen sink) have a nifty cancer causer tucked inside. Unfortunately, it's not the only supposedly green soap in this bind. According to tests performed by the Organic Consumers Association, Method, Earth Friendly and Planet detergents all contained 1,4-dioxane too. (The name even sounds scary.)

So bye, bye Seventh Gen. My household's switching to Dr. Bronner's.


Anonymous said...

Hi Avery,

I'm a mom and a Seventh Gen employee and am reaching out to say we hear your frustration and hope you won't give up on us yet!

Please know that Seventh Generation is very concerned about ingredient disclosure and transparency, and we applaud the Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) recent research efforts to educate consumers about the safety of personal care and home cleaning products. It is important for your consumers to know that Seventh Generation’s dish liquid, which does contain a minute amount of the ethoxylate 1,4-dioxane, is deemed safe according to the FDA’s and our own strict guidelines.

We remain committed to eliminating all harmful chemicals from household cleaning products. Consistent with our core mission, we have worked with surfactant manufacturers for many years to reduce levels of 1,4-dixoane in ethoxylated surfactants and it is our intent to completely eliminate 1,4-dioxane from all of our products.

We share the OCA’s concerns about the misuse of terms such as “organic” and “natural” and the lack of disclosure requirements. We have championed this causefor twenty years. We attended the OCA press conference, and they recognized that there aren't currently any viable alternatives to the current manufacturing process for 'dish liquids' at present. While our products are not perfect today, we will continue to improve them and are confident that they are a much better and safer choice than traditional cleaning products.

For more information about Seventh Generation's commitment to consumers, please visit our 7th Gen blog!.

Again, thank you for keeping your audience informed.

Chrystie Heimert, Seventh Generation

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Hey Chrystie,

Thanks so much for reaching out. I'm thrilled to hear 7th Gen is committed to improving its product line. As a risk-averse shopper, I'm going to stick with the Dr. Bronner's for now (even though their packaging could use some 7th Gen sex appeal).

But I'll continue to follow the issue, and am hopeful you can find a way to remove 1,4-dioxane from your soaps. Thanks for your comment.