A few years ago, if you were looking for less toxic cleaning supplies, you ended up buying sleek bottles of METHOD all-purpose washes and cleansers. The bottles looked stylish. The claims looked important. The messages were whimsical. And the guys behind the brand were everywhere, positioning themselves as pioneers of non-toxic, crusaders for safe and pure kitchens, bathrooms, and nurseries.
It was until a few weeks ago that I ended up using my METHOD supplies brought here, to England, from Canada, and I headed to our local supermarket to buy some more.
In the UK, all manufacturers are legally required to list ALL ingredients on the label. So what did I see?
Apparently, METHOD cleansing products are just as toxic as conventional dish detergents and all-purpose cleansers – but they cost up to 30 percent more. A greenwashing tax? For example, METHOD Wood for Good Non-Toxic Floor Cleaner contained the following:
1-methoxy-2-propanol: propylene glycol methyl ether is irritating to the respiratory tract. Can cause eye, nasal and throat irritation, as well as headache, dizziness, drowsiness and incordination upon inhalation. Skin and eye contact can cause irritation, redness and pain. Chronic exposure may damage the liver and kidneys. [source: MSDS JT Baker]
Linear alcohol ethoxylate: ethoxylated compounds are usually contaminated with potent carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane. “1,4-Dioxane was found in ethoxylated raw materials at levels up to 1410 ppm, and at levels up to 279 ppm in cosmetic finished products. Levels of 1,4-dioxane in excess of 85 ppm in children’s shampoos indicate that continued monitoring of raw materials and finished products is warranted.” [Source: Occurrence of 1,4-Dioxane in Cosmetic Raw Materials and Finished Cosmetic Products. Roderick E. Black. Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. May 2001, Volume: 84, Issue: 3.]
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate: this fungicide is linked to impaired human reproduction and development, reduced fertility or reduced chance for a healthy, full-term pregnancy. [Source: EWG.org]
DMDM hydantoin: this preservative releases formaldehyde which is a proven human carcinogen [Source: National Library of Medicine HazMap]. Can also cause itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin.
Does anything of the above sound like something you’d want to use around your naked skin or even worse, the naked skin of your baby? I don’t think so!
Earlier this year, Organic Consumer Association tested some of so-called “organic” cleansers and dishwashing liquids for the presence of 1,4-DIoxane. METHOD products didn’t fare well. While METHOD is not named in the famous Californian lawsuit against the makers of 1,4-Dioxane-contaminated personal care products, they aren’t surely as non-toxic as the METHOD creators want us to believe. Method Dish Naturally Derived Ultra Concentrate revealed whopping 27.5 ppm 1,4-Dioxane – definitely toxic!
Bottom line: I returned all METHOD products and announced the complete METHOD ban which is rather sad because with all their synthetic goodness they smell quite nicely. I won’t certainly purchase anything from this line until they come out from their greenwashed closet and list ALL ingredients clearly and in full – including the health consequences that may arise from use of these ingredients. I truly doubt this will happen any time soon (if ever), which means more baking soda, castile soap, vinegar, and elbow grease in my green kitchen!