The chemicals that are commonly found in household chemicals are also found in many other household products, including soaps and detergents, according to a new report from chemical safety expert Mark Cawthon.
“We are seeing a big increase in soaps that contain these compounds and we’ve seen an increase in detergants that contain them,” Mr Cawdon said.
“And we are seeing an increase as well in soap detergives that contain some of these compounds as well.”
Mr Cowthon’s report, which examines the environmental impacts of chemicals and how they affect human health, comes after scientists discovered the chemicals used in many household products may be contributing to the spread of coronavirus.
The report found that chemicals such as phthalates and triclosan have been found in about 80 per cent of the products in use in Australia, compared to only around 10 per cent in the United States.
But Mr Cawathon said this was likely because many products in the US were made using chemicals made in China and Vietnam.
“In the US, you don’t see these chemicals in so much of the household products that we’re seeing in Australia,” he said.
Mr Cawsons report found “very significant” environmental impacts from soaps, detergors and soap brands.
The research found the chemicals were “particularly harmful” to the environment because they were absorbed into the soil and water where they could persist for decades, which could lead to the loss of habitat.
Mr Wohlschmidt said the report showed the “possibility that many of the chemicals found in our household products have been released into the environment”.
“The fact is that a lot of these chemicals are found in products made in the developing world,” he told AAP.
“So it’s not surprising that we are finding them in household products.”
The report also found that products made from such chemicals had higher levels of chemicals found naturally in the environment, such as mercury, lead and cadmium.
Mr Mertens said many people were surprised by the findings, given the lack of government action on the issue.
“This is a major issue in our society because so many chemicals are being released into our environment every day,” he added.
“If we don’t have a change in the way we do business, we’re not going to see the problems we see in the developed world.”
The chemicals used to make many household cleaners are derived from a variety of plants, including tree bark, algae and bamboo.
The researchers found the “most prevalent” source of such chemicals in household cleaners was from a tree in the Netherlands.
But it is likely that other sources also contributed to the chemicals being in household cleaning products.
Mr Yee said while it was important to take a careful look at the chemicals that were in our home, it was also important to look at what the chemicals in our everyday products were.
“When you’re in your everyday life, how are you going to know what you’re breathing in and out of your home?
Are you going be aware of the contaminants in the air, or the soil, or even the water you’re drinking?” he said, adding that there should be more regulation in the future.