⫸So, before we go down a rabbit hole, there are brands on the market that probably pose more health concerns compared to Mrs. Meyers. The point of this blog post is not to call out Mrs. Meyer’s single handedly, it is to bring awareness to the fact that brands, like Mrs. Meyers, are not as clean as consumers may think. I will explain why later on, but first let’s get a little background on the Mrs. Meyer’s brand.
⫸In 2008, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. bought Caldrea Co. who produced Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day cleaning products. S.C. Johnson & Son (not the same company as Johnson & Johnson by the way) are the makers of Windex, Raid, Scrubbing Bubbles and Ziploc bags. After buying Caldrea Co., they became the 2nd large CPG (consumer packaged goods) organization to enter the green cleaning market, following Clorox who launched “Green Works” in 2007.
So the cute, retro-designed, seasonally-scented soaps, sprays, detergents that come across as “safe” and are conveniently located in retailers and health food stores all across the country- are actually produced by the same company that makes bug sprays and toxic window cleaners? Yep!
That’s just one fact I wanted to share with you in case you were unaware. Here’s the big reason why I am not supporting Mrs. Meyer’s brand anymore.
⫸Based on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Guide to Healthy Living, Mrs. Meyer’s product ingredients don’t live up to their “thoughtfully” chosen claims. I am looking at my Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Hand Soap refill bottle right now as I type this. The brand claims that they create clean and happy homes since 2001. “Tough on dirt and grime. Gentle on your home.” The majority of these products, which include hand soap, household cleaners, laundry detergent, air fresheners, etc. score a “D” on the EWG’s Healthy Living grading scale. This grade means that the ingredients in these products are likely hazards to health or the environment. According to another consumer guide tool- the “Think Dirty” app- the majority of Mrs. Meyer’s products are red flagged with a score of 8 (8-10 is the rating for product’s ingredients that have potential for serious negative long term health effects).
Why does this seemingly “natural” brand rate so poorly?
⫸Note: Although the rating or score of each product is independent, and I recommend checking the ones you have at home yourself, here are the ingredients I found to be of the most concern across Mrs. Meyers products:
-Fragrance (undisclosed ingredients)
⫸Concerns with these ingredients:
Fragrance: in the U.S., fragrance is an unregulated term. Fragrance is defined by the FDA as a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume or cologne (including those used in other products) its distinct scent. It may contain any combination of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Sadly, the United States has not passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938⚠. Current laws do not require full disclosure of fragrance ingredients. You may be thinking, but wait… I see “fragrance” listed on some products that I have. Well, in the U.S., companies are required to list Ingredients on the label; however, this regulation excludes the requirement of labeling the individual constituents that make up Fragrances. This is due to laws in place to protect companies’ fragrance trade secrets. It ends up creating a loophole that leads to disclosure gaps. In the end, you, as the consumer, might have a hell of a time trying to figure out what is in the product you are using.
Mrs. Meyer’s states on their website that their fragrance is a “mixture of high-quality essential oils and safe synthetic fragrance ingredients.” However they do not disclose what “safe” fragrance ingredients are used. When there is a profit to be made, we as consumers can not take these claims at face value.
This lovely preservative is a known human immune system toxicant or allergen. There is strong evidence that shows MIT is linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions, and possible neurotoxicity. Sounds like a great ingredient to have in our everyday routines!
There are other countries and government agencies across the world who have banned certain levels of MIT, or the use of it entirely, from personal care products. These include Canada, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), German BfR, and Japan’s Standards for Cosmetics.
Unfortunately, the U.S. is behind the times on regulating it.
⫸Okay, so before you go and throw away everything you own, or get discouraged, know that you are not alone. The purpose of this post is not to make you feel bad or guilty. I just want you to be informed to make the best choices you can in the FUTURE. You can choose what you do with this information and you can choose to switch to cleaner brands if you feel inspired. I did, and I was extremely frustrated to know that I had fallen for greenwash marketing and basically had a veil over my head while purchasing these products for years.
So, if you feel the same and want to make a change for yourself, here are some safer options/tips:
For cleaning products:
-Avoid air fresheners
-Avoid scented cleaning/laundry products that don’t disclose their fragrance ingredients on the product label
-Look for products certified by Green Seal or Ecologo
-Try these brands instead: Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronners, or Branch Basics
For hand soap:
-The ones I have used are from Dr. Bronners, Seventh Generation, Everyone Hand Soap- Lavender Coconut and Beautycounter’s Hand Wash-Citrus Mimosa. The last two are both EWG verified.
-There are definitely other brands that are safe options, but make sure you do your research on them before you buy!
-Dryer sheets: avoid using in general.
-Detergent: Seventh Generation, Biokleen, and Molly’s Suds
-Check for more EWG rated brands here.
-Avoid paraffin-wax scented candles. It you want to operate on the safest side, avoid all candles except bee’s wax candles, which actually can help to purify indoor air.
-I know this may be tough to hear if you are a candle lover like me. Candles smell so good, especially around the holidays. But this is important for your health!
-If you are craving scent in your home, try diffusing essential oils.
⫸Hopefully this read has fired you up to learn more about the issues around so called “natural” products in our country. Like I mentioned before, my goal, and maybe this will be yours too, is to pass on knowledge and resources so others can make educated decisions for themselves. The more people that we can inform to make conscious consumer decisions, the safer our future generations will be.
⫸If you feel inclined to do something further, look into advocating for safer laws and regulations in your state. There are movements and groups formed throughout the country that focus on advocating for the sake of our health regarding ingredient regulation and toxin exposure. Mission-based companies, like Beautycounter, advocate for better laws that protect public health from harmful ingredients commonly used in the beauty industry. They urge Congress to prioritize safe beauty + skin care and pass laws that will protect consumers. It is time for the U.S. to catch up to the other countries who have banned close to 1,400 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more.
Want to learn more about the information discussed here?
Interested in joining the #betterbeauty movement?
Reach out to me and I will share what I know!
Thanks for reading and I wish you the best in finding safer products for your home!
⫸PS: If you haven’t already, grab a copy of my Free 5-Step Guide to Non-Toxic Living, by clicking here!