If you’ve been finding yourself attracted to scent-free products when looking for dish detergent, there may be a good reason. One of those components in certain scented dish detergents is formaldehyde, which is not a chemical that you want to use to wash dishes.
The Dangers of Formaldehyde
A number of governmental authorities warn about the dangers of formaldehyde and restrict its use, including the State of California, the European Union’s REACH program, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the governments of Canada and Japan. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen, and it is also supposed to be toxic to the respiratory system, the liver and the reproductive system.
Toxic Odor-Enhancers and Preservatives
Formaldehyde is added into your dish detergent to enhance the smell, so it is usually found only in scented products. If you don’t locate this compound listed on the label, it does not necessarily indicate the product is formaldehyde-free. Many products contain the preservative quaterniumthat functions by releasing formaldehyde when it is exposed to water. These are not the only two toxins you might find in dish soap. The Environmental Working Group maintains a ranking of dish detergents depending on toxicity and ecological impact, and those that receive scores of A would be the safest to use.