If you’re looking to give your clothes the scent of outdoor freshness or spring renewal by using dryer sheets, you might want to reconsider. There are several nasty toxic chemicals in the scented laundry products, most of which pose a threat to respiratory, nervous system, skin or reproductive health.
Dryer sheets are linked to the following serious health issues (see harmful ingredients below):
- cancer, including pancreatic cancer
- headaches and migraines
- impairment of brain and nervous system functions
- drowsiness, dizziness and fatigue
- sudden and dangerous drops in blood pressure
- asthma attacks
Common Ingredients in Dryer Sheets and Liquid Fabric Softeners
Aplha Terpineol – Contact with this chemical can cause headaches, loss of muscular control, central nervous damage and respiratory problems.
Benzyl Acetate – Use for fragrance, this chemical has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Exposure to it can cause dizziness, drowsiness and confusion, red eyes and dry skin. Inhaling vapors can lead to a burning sensation in the throat and labored breathing.
Benzyl Alcohol – This chemical is known to be a respiratory tract irritant and a central nervous system system depressant.
Camphor – Derived from pine oil, camphor is known to increase heart rate, suppress breathing and lower appetite. Exposure to large doses can affect the central nervous system, causing lethargy, disorientation, stomach cramps and vomiting.
Chloroform – Chloroform is often used in dryer sheets for hydrogen bonding. It can be absorbed quickly through the skin, mouth and airways. Exposure can cause central nervous system and respiratory depression, skin sores and eye irritation.
Ethyl Acetate – This chemical is used to soften clothing. It’s on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Exposure can irritate the throat, nasal passages and eyes.
Dichlorobenzene – This chemical is commonly used in pesticides and dryer sheets as an anti-static agent. Exposure can irritate the skin, eyes and throat. Long-term exposure can affect the central nervous system, the liver and the kidneys. The EPA considers it to be a possible human carcinogen.
You can avoid the chemicals in dryer sheets by using some of these laundry room tactics:
Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle.
Look for plant-based, unscented laundry detergents. (Or make your own from unscented castile soap.)
Hang your clothing outside to dry. (You’ll enjoy a drop in your energy bill, too!)
Add wool dryer balls to your dryer. It also cuts down on drying time. You can add a few drops of organic, therapeutic-grade peppermint essential oil to the balls for a light, natural fragrance.
Always use plant-based, unscented laundry detergents. Or, make your own homemade laundry soap.
Beware of “green” laundry products. Even some of them released toxic compounds in some studies.
Lobby your workplace, apartment complex and/or neighbors to adopt these fragrance-free laundry practices to protect the health of everyone in your community and workplace.
Source : draxe.com