Toxic Dryer Sheets – What’s in Them?

Toxic chemicals have no place in anyone’s home but they are found in many peoples laundry room. Fabric softener sheets are one of the worst. According to Care2 here is a list of what is toxic chemicals are contained in a number of these fancifully named products:

  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant.
  • Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders.
  • Limonene: Suspected Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant, Immunotoxicant,
    Kidney Toxicant, Neurotoxicant,
    Respiratory Toxicant, and Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant.
  • A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage.
  • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic.
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

Another chemical that supposedly comes out of dryer sheets is toluene which is a dangerous neurotoxin. Thanks to Dr. Peck for that tip.

Pretty scary eh? What purpose does a fabric softener really have? Dryer sheets actually accelerate the deterioration of clothes so why use them. Do you really need the smell and short-term softness? I hope not.

So what side-effects are associated with the chemicals above?

  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
  • Pancreatic cancer

Our society has put too much emphasis on smelling like some unnatural toxic flower which is highly detrimental to our health. Before you comment and tell me that I am an environmental nut, try reading some scientific research over at the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the top peer-reviewed journal on the subject of health and toxicity.

Another toxic product in my opinion is the body spray/deodorant Axe. Marketed to teen males, it is a veritable chemical soup loaded with the testosterone lowering chemical phthalates. There is a large body of evidence to say that phthalates are hormone disruptors like this one. Basically, the teenage boys who use Axe may attract females but when the girls get there, the boys won’t know what to do. Instead of using products like this, go over to the Environmental Working Groups website, and check out their database – Skin Deep and find out what safe products are available in the personal care product market.

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