Life Health Features

Sunday 18 March 2018

Ingredients in Mr Muscle, Glade and Toilet Duck revealed over customer health fears

SC Johnson has become the first firm in the UK to reveal every chemical it uses.
SC Johnson has become the first firm in the UK to reveal every chemical it uses.

Katie Morley

THE UK and Ireland's biggest household cleaning manufacturer has revealed its list of ingredients including potentially "dangerous" chemicals in products such as Mr Muscle, Glade and Toilet Duck.

In a bid to address customers' concerns over "clean" fragrances like lemon and vanilla being linked to respiratory problems, cancer and other illnesses, SC Johnson has become the first firm in the UK to reveal every chemical it uses.

It comes as professors at York University warn that the biggest cause of air pollution in British homes is no longer outdoor pollution in the Eighties and Nineties, but fragranced products. 

In a study due to be published next month in scientific journal Indoor Air, Scientists will reveal some poorly ventilated properties are up to 100 times more polluted than other properties in the same neighborhood.

Conflicting scientific evidence around the health impact of chemicals such as Limonene, used by firms like SC Johnson uses to create lemon-like smells, has sparked a public debate over whether cleaners are safe to use in the home.

When used, Limonene produces another chemical called formaldehyde, which has been been listed as a known human carcinogen since 2011 and is thought to be cancer-causing.

SC Johnson insists its usage of all chemicals is always below the safe levels established by regulators and in accordance with the law.

“SC Johnson is the first major consumer goods company to publicly release the ingredients in our products, including all fragrances," Kelly Semrau, SC Johnson Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability, said.

"We proactively created this industry-leading initiative, which goes above and beyond to ensure consumers in the UK and across Europe are fully informed about the ingredients in our products. SC Johnson believes that full transparency is the best way to help consumers make educated decisions about the products they choose to use. We’re proud to be the first company to take this step.”

Professor Alastair Lewis, author of the report and an air quality expert at York University, welcomed SC Johnson's decision and predicted cleaning product manufacturers would soon move towards recommending people open windows when using scented products.

He said: "The concern is over a small group of people that have got the combination of high product usage and poorly ventilated homes. 30 years ago chemicals in homes were mainly those which had come in from outside through leaky doors. But now now fragrances are the main source of pollution in modern air-conditioned homes."

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