Dear Joy Dishwashing Soap,
I’m sorry to do this in a letter, but I fear in person I just won’t be strong enough. Our relationship has become too toxic and we need to take a break.
I see your bottle of yellow bubble making goodness and I can’t help myself. You’re the thing that makes cleaning up the detritus of family dinner bearable. I survey the long line of greasy dishes and pans on my counter and know I can count on you to help me through.
You’re always there to perk me up with that lemony fresh scent and mounds of bubbles. I dip my hands into a sink of your warm, bubbly water and I’m in heaven. Plates of spaghetti or greasy pans of chicken can’t bring me down when you are by my side. I can hardly contain myself as each dish disappears into the sink and, after minimal scrubbing of course, comes out clean and shiny.
Plus I’ve discovered your hidden secret – getting grease stains out of clothes. Just a little bit of you rubbed into a grease stain on my shirt makes the grease come right out.
But it’s got to end. I know your bad qualities. Your ingredients aren’t good for me, my family, or the environment. I know that each time I pour that luscious yellow liquid into my sink I’m pouring chemicals into my sink that studies have linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
I think my addiction to you started 30 years ago when my grandmother would babysit and I’d watch daytime soap operas with her. When your commercial came on with all of those women marveling that you cleaned dishes so well they could see their reflection in them, I was in love. I wanted to be those women! I can remember doing dishes for my mom and picking up a dish and pretending I was one of those women exclaiming “Oh, I can see myself in these dishes”!
Oh, Joy, we were so young then.
I love you dearly. But the thing is, I’m not so young and naïve anymore. I’ve got two kids whose health I care about. And Joy, you’re not so young either. Thirty years ago we didn’t know about the health and environmental problems associated with the chemicals in your bottle. Yet, now with 30 years of science and improved technology, I now know that it’s possible to make a dishwashing soap that won’t harm my health or my kids.
I guess what I’m saying, Joy, is that I’ve grown up and taken responsibility. It’s time you did too. And, until you change, I have to break up with you.
I know it won’t be easy for you. After all, it’s not illegal for you to contain toxic chemicals that harm people’s health thanks to the outdated Toxics Substances Control Act.
So, Joy, here is my pledge to you: I will do everything I can to make sure Congress updates the law to make sure chemicals known to be harmful can’t be put in consumer products like you. I’ll also ask Congress to make sure to add provisions that will help companies like your parent Proctor & Gamble find safer chemicals for you.
But until then, Dear Joy, we’re finished. I’m sorry.