What Is Simple Green Made Of?

Simple Green is a concentrated all-purpose cleaner produced by Sunshine Makers, Inc./Simple Green, which claims it is "an environmentally sensitive nontoxic cleaner." A consumer group claims the product contains a toxic ingredient that can have negative health effects.


Companies are not required to provide an ingredient label for cleaning products, and Simple Green does not have one. Women Voices for the Earth reported Simple Green contains 2-butoxyethanol, which can lead to fertility problems and low birth weight.


Companies are required to provide a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for potentially hazardous ingredients, and the MSDS for Simple Green lists one, 2-butoxyethanol.

Research Findings

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports there are no data to substantiate whether 2-butoxyethanol can cause reproductive effects, birth defects or cancer in people, but there is evidence it can cause reproductive effects and birth defects in animals. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services reports research findings that chronic exposure can lead to liver cancer in animals.


Potential impacts are affected by the level of exposure and characteristics of an individual's health and lifestyle.

Reduce Exposure

Exposure can be reduced by wearing gloves, working in ventilated rooms or using natural products such as vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning.

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