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Market research suggests Americans are suspicious of potentially toxic ingredients

By Simon Pitman , 26-Nov-2012
Last updated on 26-Nov-2012 at 16:42 GMT

A current study commissoned renewable household and personal care product maker Seventh Generation suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans are concerned about potentially toxic substances in such products.

Approximately 64 percent of Americans surveyed said they are were "concerned" or "very concerned" about potentially harmful chemicals and petroleum-based ingredients found in everyday personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products, the company revealed from the study findings.

Specific to the concerns regarding these petroleum-based products were "long term health effects" (75 percent) and "absorption through the skin" (71 percent) - with these issues being cited by all ages, genders and demographic categories.

Further to this, more than half (54 percent) agreed with the statement: "brands should be required to post warning labels on their packages if their products contain petro-chemicals."

Study assessed attitudes of 1,000 consumers from mixed backgrounds

The study assessed 1,000 surveyed US consumers' attitudes and concerns to a host of ingredients found in a range of personal care and detergenet products that they used on a daily basis.

"The level of concern voiced by the American public represents a mandate for immediate, sweeping systemic change," said Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle. "It's a big issue with consumers. And it's getting bigger."

As well as awareness of potentially toxic products, the survey also guaged consumer opinion on a range of other issues, including awareness and knowledge of biobased products.

Awareness of biobased products

The study also questioned respondents on a range of issues, including awareness of 'biobased' products, which were defined as "products made with renewable agricultural content such as plant, animal, marine or forestry materials."

The company reported that nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of those individuals that were surveyed said that they are "likely" or "very likely" to seek biobased products the next time they shop.

Educating the consumer

According to the company, the study indicated half of all Americans are unaware that many personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products contains petroleum-based ingredients or petro-chemicals.

"It's time that the consumer products companies lift the veil that has shrouded most ingredients in mystery, allaying unwarranted concern for some, and providing a sound basis for stronger consumer action on others," said Replogle.

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