Home cleaning products are a common source of toxins in the home. Andrew Chaney from Aware Environmental offers up solutions on how to clean up your act and be an informed shopper by recognising eco-labels.
Sometimes it's easy to spot exaggerated claims but then there are hundreds of credible-looking labels that, on closer examination, could just as easily have been issued by an unscrupulous manufacturer, as by a genuine environmental assessor.
The Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) has, since July 2006, controlled how many stars we see on new washing machines, toilets, dishwashers, taps and showerheads.
Of course, our consumption habits have an impact on many animals. The label 'not tested on animals' is most commonly found on cosmetics and household products but there are moves in the UK to extend this to pharmaceuticals.
The rating system used for domestic appliances is similar to that used for water. Energy stars are issued by the federal and state government-run Energy Rating label scheme, which began in 1986. It wasn't in use nationwide until 2000.