Why your laundry matters and

why we should get rid of synthetic chemicals in our homes.

The majority of personal care and home-cleaning products contain “fragrance.” More than 95% of the chemicals in fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, many of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list. 75% of fragranced products contain phthalates, which have scientifically been shown to disrupt hormone activity and linked to liver and breast cancer. Mount Sinai Children’s environmental health center linked fetal exposure to fragrances with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders. Congress has banned phthalates in toys but they are still used in the fragranced-products, including baby care. Many countries have banned phthalates altogether (EU, Canada, South Korea, Japan, China).

Ditch dryer sheets or DIY
Switch to natural laundry solutions
Stop using bleach
Avoid ALL products with the ingredient “fragrance” on the label!

Traditional detergents contain synthetic optical brighteners as well as surfactants (which are wetting agents such as emulsifiers, dispersants and foaming products that reduce the surface tension of water). Other common laundry chemicals, including alkyphenols, aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated compounds, are probable human carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Many, such as petroleum distillates, naphtha and naphthalene, are petroleum-based, so they deplete a nonrenewable resource, create pollution during manufacture and burden wastewater. Natural laundry solutions not only reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins that come into contact with your family, but they also help protect local water supplies.

 

Dryer sheets are generally made of a polyester sheet that's been covered in a fabric softener chemical and, usually, fragrance chemicals. The amount of fragrance used in dryer sheets can be significant, representing up to 10 percent of the contents of the product. Chemicals and fragrances in dryer sheets vent off into the air we breath and rub off onto our skin. And we don’t even need them, the benefit of using them is clearly outweighed by the damage done by the toxic chemicals used in manufacturing dryer sheets.

Here is some of the chemicals in a typical dryer sheet:

·      volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde and butane, which can cause respiratory irritation.

·      Quats, a fabric softener chemical, is often part of a family of chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds, many of which are linked to asthma.

·      Acetone, used in dryer sheets, can cause nervous system effects like headaches or dizziness.

Did you notice you can’t really breathe well when you are cleaning your house with bleach? That’s because, bleach is a harmful irritant for your lungs. 

Also, it is harmful for the environment, as it flows down the drain, it can produce organochlorines (OC), which create problems for your reproductive and neurological system while increasing your risk of developing cancer. To stabilize bleaching agents, manufacturers add ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA). EDTA biodegrades slowly and can release settled heavy metals into the water supply.
Vinegar and baking soda provide the same benefits of chlorine bleach without harming your health and the environment. For natural, safe, DIY solutions, please go to:

Care2 website

Practical laundry tips

The majority of personal care and home-cleaning products contain “fragrance.” More than 95% of the chemicals in fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, many of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list. 75% of fragranced products contain phthalates, which have scientifically been shown to disrupt hormone activity and linked to liver and breast cancer. Mount Sinai Children’s environmental health center linked fetal exposure to fragrances with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders. Congress has banned phthalates in toys but they are still used in the fragranced-products, including baby care. Many countries have banned phthalates altogether (EU, Canada, South Korea, Japan, China).

 

The ingredients in “fragrance” are absorbed into the bloodstream directly through the skin.  Carefully read labels and discard all perfumes, baby lotions, wipes, air fresheners, candles, detergents, etc. if they have “fragrance” on the label.

 

Fragrances in laundry detergents are particularly harmful as you and your family wear the scent all day (and sometimes night) long. The chemicals (formaldehyde and at least one carcinogen) besides being constantly inhaled are also get absorbed through the skin. The EPA reports that formaldehyde causes cancer in animals and may do so in humans. In addition to severe allergic reactions, this gas can also irritate your respiratory system and cause nausea. It is nauseating indeed to think of how often we are exposed to these fumes while doing laundry and wearing clothes that carry the scent.
 

For more information on negative health impacts and research on “fragrances” click here (this website has amazing charts and graphics).

To protect your health and our water, carefully read every label. Do not believe attention-grabers, such as nontoxic, eco-friendly, natural and organic—these are not legal certifications, so they don’t necessarily mean anything. Unlike food products, items such as laundry detergents cannot be certified organic, so consumers should read labels and choose accordingly. According to Linda Mason Hunter, coauthor of Green Clean, a truly green product’s packaging should include some or all of these words and phrases:

•    Biodegradable (in less than a year).
•    Plant based (or botanically based).
•    Hypoallergenic.
•    No phosphates (which pollute rivers and streams).
•    No chlorine (this potent environmental pollutant is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings).
•    No petroleum.
•    No fragrance or synthetic dyes.
•    Concentrated.
•    Cruelty free (not tested on animals).

You can read Linda’s article with excellent natural DIY laundry solutions here.

© 2017 by Mindful Buyers Network

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