Apparently so. Almost 20% of the chemicals used commercially (in perfumes, soaps, just about anything) are kept secret from consumers and nearly all public officials. Why? The webiste below says it best:
“Under provisions of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, the identities of the 17,000 secret chemicals are known to only a handful of employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who are prohibited from identifying the chemicals to other federal officials, state health and environmental regulators, emergency service personnel, and the public.”
They are allowed to be kept under wraps because, manufacturers argue, they are “trade secrets”. There is a movement going in Washington D.C., though, for fewer substances to be kept secret, because of their potential to harm people, animals, and the environment.
Also, companies do not need to disclose any “inert ingredients”, which often make up the bulk of a product.
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