fashionably crunchy earth friendly parenting

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Magic Erasers...dangerous?!

After stumbling upon this blog entry - Chemical Burn - we decided to do a little more research on the popular Mr. Clean Magic Eraser by Proctor and Gamble.

The first thing we found was the MSDS (Merchandise Safety Data Sheet) for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the P&G website. It lists
"Ingredients/Chemical Name: Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium Bisulfite Copolymer."

There is formaldehyde in those innocent looking little foam pieces that claim to clean everything?!

Slightly further down the MSDS the following info appears: "Hazardous Decomposition Products: Oxides of carbon, oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, aromatic compounds,
formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide."

This can't be good.

The Household Products database from the National Institute of Health reveals the same information. Similar products suggest the use of rubber gloves while cleaning to protect the harsh chemicals from absorbing into your skin.

How many people do you know that use the magic erasers? How many people let their children use them to clean up their messes? What other ingredients are in our everyday household cleaners?

Apparently a Canadian news station ran a story on how common household cleaners may be contributing to the rise of cancer. Here is an excerpt from their story:

"Not required to disclose ingredients

Kathy Cooper — a senior researcher with the Canadian Environmental Law Association — says there's a lot we don't know about the chemicals in our cleaners. Companies are not required to tell us.

"For cleaning products in particular, the only thing the label will tell you is whether it is seriously toxic…if you swallow it or get it in your eye, or will the container blow up…but you don’t have any information about…long term toxicity," Cooper told Marketplace.

If you look at the label of your favourite floor cleaner or furniture polish, you won't see much in the way of ingredients. That's because companies are protected by trade secrets. If you do see an ingredient, it's because it could blow up or poison you. Many other chemicals are not even listed.

"If you had the kind of labelling laws that they have in Europe, where it would tell you that 'this product contains something that may cause cancer' and another similar product that does the same job doesn’t, you might not buy the product that contains the carcinogen," said Larry Stoffman an international expert on chemical hazards information."

Many of the products that are available for purchase aren't necessarily "safe". Please do your research to keep yourself and your family - especially your children - safe!


  • I am from the Mr. Clean team and I would like to provide the facts about Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in response to some recent postings. A false rumour has been circulating on the Internet about the safety of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Let me first reassure you that all Mr. Clean products are safe and pose no health risks or safety concerns when used as directed. Please help us stop this false rumour about the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser by forwarding these facts to your family and friends.

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser facts:
    Formaldehyde is not and has never been an ingredient in Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
    The ingredients in Mr. Clean Magic Eraser have been safely and commonly used for many years in a wide range of household products.
    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has been mistakenly associated as containing formaldehyde because one of its ingredients contained the word 'formaldehyde' in its chemical name (formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer). However, this ingredient is not formaldehyde. Think of this name like "sodium chloride", which is table salt. Sodium by itself can be dangerous, but sodium chloride (table salt) is safe.
    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has not been and is not being banned from any stores.

    Product safety is very important to us. We appreciate the opportunity to share the facts about the safety of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser with you. We hope that you find this information reassuring and that you will continue to enjoy using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser like millions of other households in North America. Please help us stop this false rumour by forwarding these facts to your family and friends. If you have any further questions, please contact us at 1-800-277-4463 or through our website at

    By Blogger pgbloggerAngie, at 12:06 PM  

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