Murky Glass Cleaner Warnings

Poison Control centers get a lot of calls concerning glass cleaners. Consumer Reports finds the safety information on many glass cleaners is far from crystal clear.

In fact, more than $150-million-dollars worth of glass cleaners were sold in 2007 alone.

Certain concentrated cleaning products are required to have warning labels on the *outside* of the container. Glass cleaners are not.

Some companies do include safety information on their bottles.

However, it's on the *back* of the front label, where you might have to peer around a bar code sticker and through the plastic bottle and colored liquid in order to read it.

"Many glass cleaners are roughly 90% water, but some contain ammonia or other potentially toxic ingredients, which cause nausea or vomiting if you ingest enough of them," said Consumer Reports' Dan DiClerico.

Glass cleaners accounted for more than 9,000 calls to poison-control centers during a recent year...which topped the number of calls for more-toxic drain cleaners.

"When the parents call, they're usually quite frantic. They're concerned because the child is upset. They're usually crying. Their eyes are irritated," said Tom Caraccio, a toxicologist.

Some glass cleaners, like Earth Friendly and Seventh Generation, do label safety information on the back of their bottles. So why don't all cleaners do that?

"An industry insider I spoke with said it probably comes down to cost, a bottom line decision." said DiClerico. "One label simply costs less than two."

The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends keeping cleaning products in their original containers to help avoid accidents.

If your child does accidentally ingest glass cleaner, call the poison control center at (800) 222-1222.


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