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Seven generations should be long enough to poison us.
Seventh Generation Detergent
Seventh Generation is marketing hype at its finest. Every product I have checked so far doesn't even come close to safe, natural and they are all a LONG WAY from the green products that their image portrays so well. I have to wonder if there is even a conscience anywhere in this company. It's really hard to understand how they can have pulled the wool over the eyes of SO many for SO long.
Has anyone ever bothered to read and study the ingredients in Seventh Generation products?
If not, this list is for their "Delicate Care" product (You would guess it would be more benign than others): Aqua (water), pareth-7, coceth-7 and sodium laureth sulfate (plant-derived cleaning agents), sodium hydroxide (alkalinity builder), sodium borate (alkalinity builder and soil dispersant), sorbitol and sodium gluconate (anti-redeposition agent to wash away soils), sodium citrate (water softener), calcium chloride (cleaning enhancer), hexahydro-1,3,5-Tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (preservative, less than 0.05%) The entire Seventh Generation line is a collection of chemical soups. I did my homework and was shocked! They cleverly attempt to disguise the triazine which has a 9 rating (10 being the worst possible health hazard). Let's see...it's linked to cancer; allergies; immune system toxicity; skin, eye and lung irritation; organ system toxicity; ecotoxicology...need I go on? All their formulas are relatively similar. Amazing that SLS is the fourth ingredient in "Delicate Care". Well at least that only rates as a 4 (moderate hazard). Too bad there's an awful lot in it (being the fourth ingredient). Oh, thanks for letting us know it is plant derived (as many poisons are). Sorry, but this would be better labeled as a biohazard. This particular product shown is even WORSE. SLS is the SECOND listed ingredient.
I can't understand how the people running companies like this can look at themselves in the mirror. Cute kids, green leaves, blue skies blanket their products and site. They state in their mission: "In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Okay, now I at least know where the name came from. I guess seven generations ought to be long enough to make us all sick or kill us.
Geesh... A good reference to check out ingredients is Skin Deep's Safety in Cosmetics Database. You'll easily find it if you want to.
Want quality products? Look elsewhere. There are honest companies that really care. Many of the best are smaller, online exclusive formulators. Study the products or labels - and not just read the hype. Do some homework first. (I know - it's work. But it's worth it.) If you are only told what is NOT in a product - that's not a good sign. With a little effort, you will find truly effective, eco-friendly and healthy products. Good luck my friends! :-)
Tags: laundry detergents, detergents, Seventh Generation, cleansers |
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Comment by: SeventhGeneration @ 05/01/2009, 02:31:35 PM
Thank you for your views on Seventh Generation personnel and products. I appreciate your open expression, and hope we can engage in a dialog that will make us both the better for it.
First, I challenge your characterization of Seventh Generation personnel. We are a group of individuals highly committed to making products that are healthier for our consumers and the planet. To us, this is not hype, it is a reflection of who we are as individuals and as a company. I invite you to come to Burlington to meet us. While you may not agree with us about what we have accomplished, I am convinced you will see our dedication to improving all systems, natural and human, that we touch.
Second, you say "every product...doesn't even come close to safe, natural...or green." As you would expect, I disagree. How do you define safe? We use the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) definitions as a starting point, but then move beyond them. Seventh Generation products must be NONTOXIC (LD50>5000mg/kg), they may NOT contain ingredients that are carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, or neurotoxins, and they may NOT contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) except fragrances.
How do you define Natural? We define it as being mostly (>50%) plant-derived. Mostly, not completely, because plant-derived materials need to be modified to be effective (and consumers still want products that work). Yes, this definition needs to be strengthened, and we are working on an improved definition.
And how do you define Green? We define Green as being superior to conventional products for human health, environmental health, while performing comparably to conventional brands without a minimal cost premium. And we believe most of our products meet this definition.
As for pulling the wool over anyone's eyes, where did you get a list of our product ingredients to make your evaluation? From our package label or website, I hope. Those are the places I know you will get a complete and accurate ingredient list for our products. And if you go to our website you will find discussions of trace materials and other issues we are working to understand and, if a problem exists, correct.
I agree with your characterization of hexahydro-1,3,5-Tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (THT) as being an undesirable ingredient. Then again, it is a preservative, and it is used at only 0.05%, a level that is safe for use. Know that we are trying to find a better preservative, and hope to be rid of THT by the end of this year.
I disagree with your characterization of SLS (and by the way, the ingredient in our product is not SLS, it is a related substance called SLES). There is a great deal of urban legend about SLS. In short, it is not a carcinogen and does not cause blindness. It is an irritant, and a chemist must be careful to formulate so the final formulation is not irritating. A good reference about the SLS myths can be found at www.melaleuca.com/wc/pdf/Ingredient_Myths.pdf.
By the way, the Delicate Care product was tested for irritancy using in vitro methods and a panel of 100 human volunteers under a dermatologist's supervision. The product was neither an ocular nor a dermal irritant by either test. Further, when tested on wool and cotton, our product caused virtually no damage, even after 10 washings.
We know our products are not perfect. No product ever can be. We also know that we will continue to evolve them so they become safer for human health and the environment, perform better, and remain cost competitive with conventional products.