The Toxicity of Dryer Sheets, Fabric Softeners, and Laundry Detergents

Health conscious people have a tendency to overlook the hazards in their cleaning materials, and manufacturers are not required to accurately list the ingredients of such products. Manufacturers simply do not mention ingredients that they think customers would disapprove of. In other cases, they use vague terms like “brightener”, instead of listing the standard chemical names.

Laundry detergents usually contain chemicals that are dangerous to the health and irritating to the skin. A residue of these chemicals remains on clothing after it is washed. Clear evidence of this can be found in scented products, because chemical fragrances would be useless if they were simply washed out. Chemical fragrances are especially bad, and are known for aggravating asthma.

This is likely to be the worst dryer product on the consumer market because of its added “Febreze”, whose main ingredient is dichlorobenzene. This extremely carcinogenic solvent is used to manufacture paint thinners. It is hidden in plain sight using the marketing name “Febreze”. It is readily absorbed into the body through both the lungs and the skin. The chemicals of “Febreze” are known to cause respiratory distress and sudden heart attacks in otherwise healthy people. Benzene compounds transform into DDT compounds when exposed to chlorine compounds, such as those found in tap water, laundry bleaching agents, and the ingredients of Febreze. These issues have been known throughout the chemical industry for approximately 60 years, so none of the toxicity is accidental. It is exactly how Febreze “works” — by poisoning the mucous membranes to cripple a victim’s sense of smell. The “freshness” of Febreze comes from a chemically-crippled immune system.

Nonylphenol is a byproduct of a chemical that is used in laundry detergents. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it has been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine. It has been shown in animal studies to cause adverse reproductive and developmental effects. It is so prevalent that it is now being detected in municipal water supplies.

Sodium lauryl sulphate is an industrial degreaser that is found in a wide variety of cleaning products. It is even in most toothpastes. It is known for being a skin irritant. When it breaks down, it releases another chemical, 1,4-dioxane. The National Institutes of Health have warned that 1,4-dioxane is “reasonably expected to be a human carcinogen”, because it has been repeatedly shown to cause cancer in animal studies. It is also known for causing kidney, liver and nervous system damage. Preliminary research is showing that it accumulates in the body over time. It likewise accumulates in the environment, in a manner similar to the infamous DDT pesticide.

Laundry manufacturers sometimes add formaldehyde to their formulas. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic, a skin irritant, and a respiratory poison. The massive list of formaldehyde side effects can be found in the article, Vaccine Ingredients and Vaccine Secrets. Formaldehyde was the main ingredient in hair straightening products that prompted O.S.H.A. to issue a hazard alert about the health risks. Some of the products have been reformulated to remove formaldehyde, because the California Attorney General sued the companies responsible.

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