May 23 - How "Cleaning House" puts you at risk

A new study from the University of California at Berkeley found that many common household products used to make one's home cleaner could be putting our health and environment at risk.  While some chemicals in these products are themselves harmful, others can react with atmospheric gases to create carcinogens such as formaldehyde.  Julie Sevrens Lyons of the San Jose Mercury News reports:

One manufacturer promotes its pine-scented cleaning products as providing a ``Clean you can smell. A clean you can trust.'' But a groundbreaking new study suggests that household cleaners and air fresheners -- particularly those with pine, orange and lemon scents -- may emit harmful levels of toxic pollutants.

Exposure to some of these pollutants and their byproducts may exceed regulatory guidelines when used repeatedly or in small, poorly ventilated rooms, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concluded after a four-year study.

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The household pollutants put the environment at risk by polluting air and water systems when disposed of in sewage and landfills. 

What you can do: