Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-AK)

Hidden Chemicals in Consumer Products: What’s Not on the Label, recorded 6/28/12

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About the call:

Hidden Chemicals in Consumer Products: What’s Not on the Label, recorded June 28th, 2012, was presented by ACAT’s Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-AK). Health conscious consumers often pore over product labels trying to avoid certain ingredients. But those labels can be incomplete. A new Silent Spring Institute study shows that everyday products contain a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals, including many that are not listed on product labels. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, marks the largest investigation that actually tested the products themselves for the presence of many suspect chemicals. All 50 different categories of conventional products contained some target chemicals. And the majority of the “alternative” products—marketed for having safer ingredients than their conventional counterparts—also contained chemicals of concern. Investigators tested products for the presence of hormone disruptors that raise concerns for breast cancer, growth, and reproduction, as well as chemicals associated with asthma. Join Robin Dodson, Sc.D., lead author of the study, for a discussion of the study’s findings and how you can reduce exposures.


Author Kristi MarshRobin Dodson, Sc.D. is a Research Scientist at Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit scientific research organization that focuses on the environment and women’s health.  Her research centers on developing novel residential exposure measurement methods for epidemiological studies and analyzing household exposure data.  She currently oversees the Institute’s consumer product exposure research.  She also holds an appointment at Harvard School of Public Health as a Visiting Scientist and as a Lecturer at Brandeis University.  She currently serves on the Board of Councilors for the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) and the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Science Advisory Board.  Dr. Dodson received her doctorate in Environmental Health in 2007 and her master’s in Environmental Science and Risk Management in 2004 from Harvard School of Public Health.

Presentation Slides: Presentation Slides (opens a new window)

Listen to the Podcast | Follow along with the presentation slides


Article in Environmental Health Perspectives

Press Release: Consumer products contain potentially harmful chemicals not listed on labels

Study Fact Sheet

Tips Card: Top 12 tips for greening your cleaning and personal care

Video: Highlights of the consumer products study

Table: Names of the products in the study

Table: Eleven products that had no detectable target chemical

Study’s Media Coverage:

WPBF 25 – Are hidden dangers lurking in your cleaning products?

The Atlantic – Don’t Believe That Label

The Huffington Post – Bisphenol A And Other Endocrine Disruptors Found In Common Household Products

Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen – 8 Ways to Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Forbes – Study Highlights Hidden Dangers in Everyday Products

Rodale – Why You Can’t Trust the “Natural” Label

The Daily Green – Study: Suspect Chemicals Found in Many Products

PRN Connect the Dots – Interview with Robin Dodson
On Point – Household Cancer Hazards

Related Actions:

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families & ACAT petition

Check out ACAT’s calendar for upcoming events!

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