When Cleaners, Toothpaste and Soap Go Down the Drain

I’m fascinated that we continue to have access to clean water. Think about it, we flush toilets, rinse household cleaners down the drain, spit out toothpaste, and yet we can still turn on the tap and enjoy clean water. What a modern day miracle! But what are the downstream impacts of our household products?

One of the many unexpected consequences of an unregulated consumer product market place, is the routine washing of harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals down our drains. This infographic from Grist does a great job visually showing exactly what happens with common ingredients like tricolsan and triclocarban.

There are two immediate solutions to this problem: use safer personal care and cleaning products. Second, we need to update our federal laws on toxic chemicals and cosmetics to ensure that ingredients are safe for humans and the planet – before they end up in our homes, and ultimately down the drain.

This infographic originally appeared on Grist.

Illustrations by Nikki Burch.

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3 Responses to When Cleaners, Toothpaste and Soap Go Down the Drain

  1. Anna@Green Talk September 18, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    Wow. I never realized the full impact of triclosan. That chemical should be banned.

  2. Micaela @MindfulMomma September 21, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    I agree – clean water is a modern miracle – which we should not take for granted. Let’s get those federal laws updated!

  3. Betsy (Eco-novice) September 21, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    This is so disturbing. Hard to believe these harmful chemicals are so pervasive but not regulated. All these antibacterials (and other chemicals) just dumped into the environment and cycling back into us!

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