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Cleaning Without Cruelty

Published 06/15/05
Source: Animal Issues, Volume 36 Number 2, Summer 2005

Summer is here! It’s time to hose down the driveway, scrub the picnic table, toss a load of beach towels into the washing machine, and rinse the windows to let the summer sun shine in. While keeping things at home squeaky clean, API asks that you double-check that your household products have not been tested on animals.

Common household products are all too often tested on animals. This doesn’t need to be the case!

Even though many household products carry a “not tested on animals” claim or image implying a testing policy, these claims may often refer to a finished product, not to the product’s actual ingredients. Therefore, consumers cannot be sure of a company’s exact animal-testing policy unless they confirm that both the product in the bottle and the ingredients that went into the manufacturing of that product are free of new animal testing.

A Look at the Lab

Animals used in household product tests may endure horrific skin and eye irritation tests, as well as oral poisoning experiments. Guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, fish, and dogs are often the unfortunate test subjects for these cruel tests.

One such oral poisoning test (or “toxicity test”) is known as the Lethal Dose Fifty Percent (or LD50). In an LD50 test, animals are forced to ingest lethal doses of test chemicals to determine at what dose half of the animals die.

Death comes only after the animal experiences the grisly effects of the poisoning. Sometimes, it’s the volume of the substance the animals are forced to ingest that actually kills them. Other times it’s a test to measure the experienced ghastly effects of the chemical destroying the animals’ internal organs until death.

The Federal Drug Agency (FDA) does not require LD50 testing, and has accepted the use of non–animal-based (in vitro) tests. However, because the FDA still accepts LD50 testing, the practice continues.

Clean House, Clean Conscience

Fortunately, there are some wonderful companies out there manufacturing products that can give your home the sparkle of a sunny summer day — and that give you the assurance that you are not supporting animal testing!

With your help, the Animal Protection Institute is leading the way in ending animal testing for not only cosmetics but also household products!

API is proud to be the headquarters for the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). For those familiar with the strict Standard applied to cosmetics by the CCIC (learn more at www.leapingbunny.org), the good news is the same strict Standard applied to cosmetic manufacturers is also applied to companies who manufacture household products.

What that means is that, in order to be approved by CCIC, companies manufacturing cosmetics or household products must commit in writing that neither their product nor their ingredients, are — or ever will be — tested on animals after a fixed date!

These companies must verify that their suppliers and/or manufacturers are not only aware of the company’s policy against animals testing but have agreed to abide by the guidelines of the Standard. As a result of that pledge, these companies have made a commitment to end animal testing once and for all and will continue to monitor their suppliers as new products are developed.

API asks that you support those companies certified through CCIC and buy only household products that meet this strict Standard. Many wonderful CCIC-certified companies manufacture household products that can be found widely in major grocery stores, health food stores, and select retailers (see below for a profile of a few of the biggest-name companies in our program).

Want to put your money where your values are? Start by getting a copy of API’s free Compassionate Shopping Guide for a full list of cosmetic and household product companies approved by CCIC. Just write to us or call our Shopping Guide Hotline at 1-800-348-7387 x200 and give us your name and mailing address, and we’ll drop one in the mail for you. Or visit the CCIC web site at www.leapingbunny.org and click on the link to the Shopping Guide and find a list of Household Products by category (as well as CCIC-approved cosmetics companies). Or download a copy of the latest guide.

Put Compassion in Your Shopping Cart

To help you get started saving animals while shopping, we’d like to introduce you to a few of the household product manufacturers approved by CCIC. Their wares can be found in many major stores across the country!

Method Products makes a range of household products, including bathroom cleaners, floor cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, and hand soaps. Method Products are available throughout the U.S. in Target and Linens ’n Things, as well as major region-grocery stores and distributors all around the U.S.

Seventh Generation offers a range of household cleaners (for things such as kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, and glass), laundry products, and dishwashing suds. Seventh Generation products can be found on many major supermarket shelves as well as in most larger health food stores. Seventh Generation chose to license the CCIC Look for the “Leaping Bunny” on their packaging

Heather’s Natural and Organic Cleaning Products (manufactured by Jāsön, a CCIC-approved personal care company) can be found in natural health food stores, and distributes all-purpose soaps, window cleaners, and an oxygen bleach cleanser.

Planet, Inc. makes dishwashing and laundry soaps, as well as an all-purpose cleaner, and can be found on many major supermarket shelves as well as in most larger health food stores.

As the weather warms, have some fun in the sun, and be sure that your household products are free of new animal testing. Remember, cleaning doesn’t have to be cruel!

API and the animals thank you for your commitment to compassionate consumerism.

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