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The Worst Ingredients in Laundry Detergent

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The Worst Ingredients in Laundry Detergent

Photo Courtesy Of:  iStockphoto/Thinkstock

When most people think of pollution, they think of the outdoors—garbage-choked streams or industrial waste.

But you probably spend a large portion of your time indoors—as much as 80 to 90 percent of your life.

You work, study, eat, drink and sleep in enclosed environments where air circulation may be restricted.

The typical American home contains 3-10 gallons of toxic materials—everything from glass and bathroom cleaners to garden pesticides and fertilizers.

Health effects of ingredients in common household products include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye irritation
  • Cancer
  • Disruption of the endocrine system

As a result of cleaners and other toxic household products, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the air inside the typical home is 2-5 times more polluted than the air immediately outside—and in extreme cases, 100 times more contaminated.

Did you know that cleaning products are responsible for nearly 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers?

In one New York medical center, reports of burns, rashes, dizziness and scratchy throats among hospital employees plummeted after the staff switched over to less toxic cleaning products. The number of missed work days due to cleaning product injuries declined from 54 in 2004 to zero in 2009.

Contributors to indoor pollution include the products you use every day in your home, which can come in contact with your skin and lungs. Household products have been found to contain very powerful and often toxic chemicals that you unknowingly expose yourself to in the course of an ordinary day. One of the most common household products is laundry detergent.

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Health, Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

61 comments

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12:50PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Thanks for the info.

6:10PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Thanx, for taking such chances and exposing these toxins. I appreciate your article.

5:24AM PDT on May 23, 2012

One ingredient not mentioned here may also be causing your father to have his rash...
methylisothiazolinone (several names for, check wikipedia) My wife and several others I know have developed alergic reactions (alergies) to this ingredient. AND it is in almost everything.
Laundry soap, dish soap, bar soap, cosmetics, baby wipes, toilet paper, et. al. It is used as a preservative but one web site I was on compared it to of all things... "Agent Orange" (not sure if this is true). But, anytime my wife uses anything with this indredient (methylisothiazolinone) she gets a rash. And it usually takes a couple of days for it to go away. Unfortunately, it is in 7th generation products as well.

8:52AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Scary. My father has rashes from laundry detergent so we have been very careful from what we buy. I have copied the recipe for making your own laundry detergent a few weeks back and will be trying it. My other recipe says to use Bonners soap, which I will. I also have 7th generation on my shelf. I'll have to see if it has any of these chemicals in it.

7:46AM PDT on May 22, 2012

It's great that people are becoming more aware about what is in their household cleaning products, this is something I have known for a while so I use an eco-friendly organic laundry liquid from Faith In Nature that is as good as any of the other detergents,Natural laundry detergent by Faith In Nature

4:24AM PDT on May 21, 2012

Thanks for the heads up about these awful ingredients.

Most states have now banned or severely curtailed phosphates in soaps.

4:39AM PDT on May 18, 2012

thanks for sharing

5:12PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Thanks for the info..

11:48AM PDT on May 17, 2012

I am wondering why governmental and health agencies allow toxic products to be manufactured and distributed.

7:58AM PDT on May 17, 2012

I have eliminated commercial toothpaste and deodorant (found great recipes for natural substitues that work), and now after reading this, the laundry soap and dish soap are next to kick to the curb. There are great homemade recipes that work for these as well. GOODBYE TIDE, GOODBYE GAIN, GOODBYE SURF, GOOD BYE SUNLIGHT.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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