News Masthead


July 20, 2010 10:00 AM


Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 (office)/ 202-680-9327 (mobile) or via email at

ACI Refutes Study Attacking Cleaning Product Safety, Links to Breast Cancer

  • Paper Published in Environmental Health “Rife With Innuendo, Over-the-Top Speculation” About Cleaning Product Chemicals
  • Cleaning Products Have Long Track Record of Safe, Effective Use
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2010 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI – formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) today challenged accusations leveled in a questionable study that attempts to link cleaning products to breast cancer.
A research piece by the Silent Spring Institute published in the journal Environmental Health far overreaches in its conclusions based on self-reported uses of cleaning products by persons diagnosed with breast cancer, according to ACI (
“Simply put, this research is rife with innuendo and speculation about the safety of cleaning products and their ingredients,” said Richard Sedlak, ACI’s Senior Vice President of Technical and International Affairs. “This is all based on the most cursory look at the scientific literature and the recollection of breast cancer survivors as to the products they used 15 to 20 years ago.”
“Although the authors recognize the potential bias in their results, present conflicting findings, and have no real gauge as to the products used by the interviewees so long ago, they proceed to make unscientific assumptions on a very shaky foundation. Unfortunately, this work sheds little light on the real causes of breast cancer.”
“The safe and responsible manufacture and use of cleaning products is an absolute top priority within our industry,” Sedlak added. “Further, the plausibility of avoiding cleaning products, as put forth by the researchers, in a world where hygiene and cleanliness are the first barriers to disease prevention, is theoretically plausible, but the adverse effect on public health would be real.”

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI - formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market.  ACI  members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.  ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.