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2006 Survey Finds:

Americans Say Cleaning Products Are Safe When Used As Directed

  • Respondents Say Products Are Very Safe (40%) or Somewhat Safe (48%)
  • Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) Reiterates Safety, Storage Messages for National Poison Prevention Week, March 19-25, 2006
  • SDA Offers Online "Home Safe Home" Accident Prevention Tip Sheet

WASHINGTON, DC – March 13, 2006 – Nearly nine out of ten Americans believe the cleaning products they buy are safe when used as directed, according to a survey released by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA).

Among 946 adults (451 male, 495 female) questioned by International Communications Research for SDA, an overwhelming majority found cleaning products to be "very safe" (40%) or "somewhat safe" (48%) when properly used. Eight percent said these products are "somewhat unsafe." Less than one percent said cleaning products are "not safe at all" when used as directed.

Proper and safe storage, use and supervision of all household products can substantially reduce accidents in the home, said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education, and Chair of the National Poison Prevention Week Council (www.poisonprevention.org). The 45th observance of National Poison Prevention Week takes place March 19-25, 2006.

"Take away the opportunity and you’ve automatically made your home safer by reducing the chance for an accidental poisoning when small children are around," said Bock, who shared several common sense tips when using cleaning products around the house:

  • Schedule routine cleaning around the kids’ routines, such as nap time or when they aren’t at home.
  • Don’t be distracted when you’re cleaning. Keep your attention on the tasks at hand and the children around you. Save activities like talking on a cell phone, conversing with another adult in the room or "listening" to the TV for another time.
  • Don’t leave children unattended around cleaning products. If you need to answer the doorbell or the phone, take the child with you.
  • Don’t leave cleaning buckets containing liquid unattended. Besides the obvious chance of spilling, slipping and sipping, there’s the fact that toddlers are "top heavy." If they topple into a bucket, even one with a very small amount of liquid, they could drown because they can’t pull themselves up.
  • DON’T mix cleaning products. Products which are safe when used alone can sometimes become dangerous if mixed with other products.
  • DON’T ever mix chlorine bleach or any product containing chlorine bleach (like some tub and tile cleaners, mildew removers, all-purpose cleaners, automatic dishwashing detergents) with: ammonia, or products which contain ammonia or ammonia-containing compounds (some hand dishwashing detergents and window cleaners) or acidic products (toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers).

"Home Safe Home" Guide Now Available Online

Now available on SDA’s website is our "Home Safe Home" tip sheet, which features several common sense suggestions to help keep your family safe around the home. You’ll also find an emergency contact list that you can tear off and post by every phone in the home.

For copies of "Home Safe Home," visit SDA’s website at www.cleaning101.com/health.

Poison Control Center Hotline

If families experience a poison-related emergency, they should call the Poison Control Center’s hotline: 1-800-222-1222. Post this toll-free number, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, next to every phone in the house.

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The Soap and Detergent Association (www.cleaning101.com) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products IndustrySM, representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products; their ingredients and finished packaging; and oleochemical producers. SDA members produce more than 90 percent of the cleaning products marketed in the U.S. The SDA is located at 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.

About the Survey: The survey cited was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by International Communications Research (ICR) in February 2006. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.