Monday, May 14, 2012

Toxic laundry – the hidden dangers of a common household chore

Dryer sheets and other scented products
can contain hundreds of chemicals.
The chemicals contained in a wide range of laundry products can present hidden dangers, according to researchers.

Scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners can be the source of a toxic blend of chemicals that are unregulated and can contribute to a number of health problems.

Research by Dr. Joseph Mercola reveals that
  1. Dryer vents emit more than 600 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which come from commonly used laundry products. Some of these VOCs are known to cause cancer.
  2. We should be worrying about the long-term cumulative effects of these chemicals, which have not been studied and are largely unknown. However, experts suggest they may contribute to respiratory, neurological, endocrine, immune system and organ system health problems.
  3. Workers reacting to fragrances at work are becoming much more common, so much so that it is being compared to secondhand smoke exposure.
  4. Many people are unaware of the kinds of chemicals that products contain since companies are not required to list all chemical ingredients on labels. One fragrance can be made up of hundreds of chemicals.
  5. Fabric softeners can release formaldehyde, a known irritant and carcinogen.

According to research done by Anne Steinmann, PhD, laundry products that were labeled “organic” and “natural” were more toxic than regular products.

Opting for “unscented” versions of popular laundry products may also be a mistake, since these often contain the original fragrance as well as a masking fragrance.

A better idea might be to hang laundry to dry or to use dryer balls or similar non-toxic alternatives.

There are greener and less toxic laundry products available - simply being aware of the dangers and asking the right questions will help in making the right choices.

Source: Digital Journal

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