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L.I. Congressman Wants Ingredient List On Household Cleaning Supplies

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A Long Island congressman has proposed a bill that would require the makers of cleaning products to come clean about what's in the bottle.

As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) discussed his Household Cleaning Products Right To Know Act Friday in Port Washington.

L.I. Congressman Wants Ingredient List On Household Cleaning Supplies

The Democrat said under his measure, cleaning products would feature a label listing the ingredients.

Cleaning product companies are not legally bound to list the ingredients even though some of the products have carcinogens, pollutants and other chemicals that could be dangerous to children and pregnant women.

"In all, 84,000 chemicals are used in commercial cleaning products and nobody knows what," Israel said. "It says in large letters 'May be harmful.' Gives you first aid instructions. But it doesn't tell you what's in here that would trigger the need for first aid."

As CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, Amanda Khalil is supporting Israel's cleaning products bill and is using her "Port Washington Mama" blog, which reaches hundreds of mothers, to help the measure gain traction.

"Kids are on the floor climbing and crawling and it concerns me what they are ingesting," Khalil said.

"They typically put things in their mouths all the times. So they're getting small chronic exposures to these chemicals all the time," said Patti Wood, of the Grassroots Environmental Education group.

At Holiday Farms in Roslyn, shoppers didn't realize cleaning ingredients aren't always listed, Gusoff reported.

"You want to know what you're eating in your food, why would you not want to know what you're cleaning with," said Mineola resident Diedre Russo.

If you want to be clean and safe, there are some options.

"Buy the products where you have full disclosure of ingredients and where the ingredients are labeled as bio-based. Because if they're bio-based it means they come from plant extracts," Wood said.

The group representing the $100 billion industry said they "share the goal of better informed consumers about product ingredients," Gusoff reported.

Resistance has come from some manufacturers who say they don't want to reveal their trade secrets.

Sponsors of the bill said they'll work with the manufacturers to protect their secrets while still protecting the public.

The Consumer Specialty Products Association said it "looks forward to working with Congressman Israel."

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