Dear EarthTalk: Why don’t cleaning products have to list their ingredients, and are these products tested for what they might do to your health? -- Patricia Greenville, Bethel, CT
Since cleaning products aren’t food, beverages or drugs meant to be ingested, they aren’t regulated, per se, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, makers are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to list ingredients that are active disinfectants or potentially harmful. Otherwise, they usually keep their other ingredients secret, presumably so competitors can’t copy their formulas.