Congressman Raul Ruiz currently has a bill in committee that would mandate cleaning products have labels listing every ingredient in them, so that consumers know if the products they’re using are safe. It’s called, "The Cleaning Product Labeling Act of 2017."
The Congressman says his bill would help promote transparency so consumers can protect themselves and their families from needless health emergencies, even death. "If we can save lives by identifying the bad chemicals in a product that a child has consumed immediately so that we know how to take of that, then it’s worth it," he says.
Currently, there is no standardized way of reporting ingredients, and no requirement to include all the ingredients on the cleaning product labels. As a father of young daughters, and an emergency physician, Ruiz says this is personal to him. He says he also see his bill as a way to prevent needless birth defects.
"It is important for a worker who’s pregnant to be able to read the label and say, wait a minute, I shouldn’t be sing this product, I can use another product," he says. Everyday cleaning products differ greatly, some have more chemicals than others, and some are touted as healthier options. But, any substance can be toxic if ingested in the right quantity.
Ruiz’s bill he says, "will give parents, and workplace employees peace of mind by allowing consumers to quickly and easily identify the product’s ingredients. So they can read them off, help the Poison Control Center, help themselves if they can easily find it on the internet. Get peace of mind, help the emergency medicine doctor take care of their children."
Right now, the Cleaning Product Labeling Act is in committee. Ruiz is hopeful the Republican majority in Congress will allow the bill to come up for debate and ultimately a vote. He says it’s about building momentum. "We get more consumers involved, we get more parents involved, we get more toxicologists involved and doctors involved and seeing the bill all the way through is the ultimate goal."
"There may be a Speaker of the House that’s more favorable to consumer and workers rights and parents, and will put the health of children above the profits or corporations, then maybe we can allow these bills to get voted on and we could pass it," he says.
The Congressman says consumers, particularly parents, deserve to know what ingredients are in everyday cleaning products. His bill he says, would help give them peace of mind.