If you enjoy the smell of clean clothes straight out of the dryer you may be shocked to learn that smell comes at a cost. Most commercial fabric softeners–dryer sheets or the liquid variety–contain many toxic chemicals. Here are eight toxins found in most fabric softeners (and eight reasons to switch to natural options.) Not sure about your natural options? Stay posted for my next blog.
1. Alpha-Terpineol–This chemical has been linked to disorders of the brain and nervous system, loss of muscle control, depression, and headaches
2. Benzyl acetate–Benzyl acetate has been linked to cancer of the pancreas
3. Benzyl alcohol–Linked to headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, depression, as well as disorders of the brain and nervous system
4. Chloroform–Chloroform is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazardous Waste list because it has been identified as a carcinogen and neurotoxin (toxic to the brain and nervous system)
5. Ethanol–also on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list for its ability to cause brain and nervous system disorder
6. Ethyl Acetate–causes headaches and is on the EPA Hazardous Waste list
7. Linalool–in studies, this chemical caused loss of muscle coordination, nervous system and brain disorders, and depression
8. Pentane–causes headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and depression
The standard argument in favor of using fabric softeners is that the amount of the chemicals to which a person is exposed is insufficient to cause harm. Studies are showing that even small amounts of these toxins can have serious effects. So, think twice before you add that dryer sheet or liquid fabric softener to your laundry, particularly for children whose developing brains are more vulnerable to the effects of toxins.
Read about effective natural options to use in place of harmful chemical-laden fabric softeners.
If you missed my article on The Toxic Effects of Perfume, be sure to check it out. And, if you want to give your liver a boost to help it detoxify these toxic chemicals, check out my article, Spring Cleanse Your Liver.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM