Scientific American on a New York State lawsuit:
This week, a group of those concerned citizens and advocates, led by Earthjustice, is filing a lawsuit in New York State to force major U.S. manufacturers—Church and Dwight, Colgate–Palmolive and Proctor and Gamble as well as England-based Reckitt Benckiser Group—to disclose ingredients in their household cleaning products. “Consumers deserve to know whether the products they use to wash their dishes, launder their clothes or clean their homes are harmful to themselves or their environment,” says Keri Powell, an attorney at Earthjustice.
The lawsuit revolves around a law passed in 1971—but rarely enforced, says Earthjustice—that gives the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the power to force manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of their products as well as any health or safety studies. And, should the DEC commissioner feel it is warranted, it also allows the state to ban the use of certain chemicals—a power that was last invoked back in 1985 to ban the solvent nitroacetic acid, or NTA, that was shown to cause cancer in lab animals, according to program associate Saima Anjam of Environmental Advocates of New York.
Several companies—method, Prestige Brands, Seventh Generation, Sunshine Makers and Weiman Products—filed reports with the DEC to comply with the law when contacted by Earthjustice last September. Sunshine Makers, for example, detailed the ingredients of their “Simple Green” product line. Their All-Purpose Cleaner contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent which has been shown to reduce fertility in female lab mice and damaged human red blood cells at high levels in vitro.
Click on the above link for more information.