Study Finds Disconnect on Cleaning Products' Safety

UL Environment produced "Navigating the Product Mindset," which is based on a 2011 quantitative survey of consumers and manufacturers in China, Germany, India, and the United States.

A study produced the UL Environment found manufacturers and consumers diverge in how strongly they believe household chemicals are safe, reliable, and innovative. The "Navigating the Product Mindset" study is based on a 2011 quantitative survey of 1,235 consumers and 1,195 manufacturers in China, Germany, India, and the United States.

"When 65 percent of consumers believe the cleaning products of today are no better than those of five years ago, those perceptions are going to spill over into industrial cleaning. With consumers becoming more knowledgeable about products used at home, they are bringing that knowledge to the buildings where they work, to the schools where they send their kids, and to health care facilities," said Mark Rossolo, the UL business unit's director of public affairs. "And they're asking facility managers and other decision-makers about the impacts of industrial cleaning products."

The study can be downloaded free by a very simple registration at this website.

It says 40 percent of consumers surveyed believe manufacturers of household chemicals value sales and profits more than product safety (for fresh food and building materials, the percentages were 38 and 36, respectively). In addition, 77 percent of the consumers strongly agreed manufacturers of household chemicals do not use the best-quality materials in their products, and 64 percent said they find it difficult to locate product safety information fro these manufacturers.

Surveyed manufacturers said product reliability is the most important current consideration affecting their companies' ability to compete and product innovation is the most important future consideration.

UL Environment personnel will be offering additional information about the study at the company's booth 4104 during the ISSA INTERCLEAN trade show, Oct. 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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