Published June 11, 2015
Ever wonder what's inside those Glade plug-ins that make your home smell so sweet? Now you can find out. A GlobalScan study commissioned by SC Johnson and released in April found that over half of consumers were more likely to buy products manufactured by a company that provided detailed fragrance information. So this week, the company posted the top ingredients used in each of its fragrance products on whatsinsidescjohnson.com.
Not surprisingly, the list of ingredients for Glade's Premium Room Spray with the scent of Brilliant Sunshine, for example, includes words like 2-phenoxyethyl isobutyrate and diproplyene glycol. We had to do some major digging to find out what these words mean.
Unless you head to the attic and dig out your old chemistry books, chances are that you have no idea what benzyl acetate is, either. (FYI: It's the ester formed by the condensation of benzyl alcohol and acetic acid, also found naturally in many flowers, hence the lovely smell.)
If you really want to know what hazards your home products contain, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), are the documents you want to pay attention to.
The data sheets provide detailed information about the nature of a chemical, including the chemical identity and characteristics of a product; fire and explosion hazard data; health hazard data—basically, any information that might be useful for keeping you and your family safe around a chemically-based product. The sheets also explain how different chemicals affect the human body if they are ingested or inhaled or come into contact with a person's eyes.
Getting back to Glade's Brilliant Sunshine premium room spray, the product's MSDS, updated on April 9, 2015, warns against “intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents” and reports that the spray contains only 0.2 percent volatile organic compounds; these compounds are chemicals that have the potential for short- or long-term adverse health effects. Exposure to such a small amount is not harmful, according to IAQ Index.
Let's see if other major manufacturers follow the example set by SC Johnson's product-ingredient disclosure.