Did you know?
If you use conventional laundry products, you might not knowingly be feeling the effects now, but you more than likely have some neighbours who do!
Dryer vents are undisclosed, unregulated chemical distribution devices.
When you choose your laundry products,
you choose what your neighbours have to breathe!
Please think about your neighbours and choose non-toxic & fragrance-free products, so that your neighbours do not become ill or disabled
and can enjoy their homes and properties too!
A growing number of people (millions, not handfuls) cannot enjoy walking about their neighbourhoods, sitting or working in their own outdoor spaces, or even open the windows of their homes due to the harmful pollutants released from dryer vents that were designed to emit moisture, not drifting toxic chemicals.
Laundry products should not be disabling people or cause short term adverse health effects like asthma, headaches, migraines, confusion, vomiting, dizziness, etc., or longer term effects like reproductive and neurodevelopmental problems!
EWG has a website where you can check the ratings for the products you use. It’s a great place to start learning which products to avoid, and which are safer options.
EWG’s Guide to Cleaning Products
Keep in mind though that they work with manufacturer’s disclosed ingredients and not lab tests. Also keep in mind that some ingredients have had no research and therefore there are no publicly known health effects. This does not mean they are safe. It just means there’s no data.
Also, before you decide to switch to an A product, be sure to click on the actual product listing to see how many questionable ingredients they have, as quite a few of them have more C’s than A’s !!! (???) and even some D’s thrown in. I’m not sure how a product rates an A with C’s and Ds in the mix, but I saw a few.
I also noticed that some of the A rated products are products that I can’t be around, and saw one that didn’t have the preservatives listed. I’m sure there are many other unlisted ingredients too, like fragrances, for example, which have been trade secrets for decades, but are known to contain hazardous chemicals.
So why am I suggesting people use this tool? Because it’s a really good starting point on what to avoid, and we don’t have other resources that are better!
Here’s how some Tide products rate
(60 of their 79 products rate an F, 17 are rated D, their ‘best’ 2 are rated C)
Ultra Pure products should NOT have a
“High Concern for Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity”
Free and Gentle products should NOT be scoring Ds or Fs!
Most of GAIN’s products score an F too:
For more on how
Laundry Products Harm Humans!
and other interesting facts, click on the following link:
Unfortunately, just being fragrance-free doesn’t mean safe and healthy.
About Those Fragrance-Free Laundry Products
P.S. If you use laundry products with any kind of fragrance added, you are not fragrance-free and should avoid places that have fragrance or scent-free policies.
What else can we do?
Call your fave brands and tell them you expect better!
Talk to your neighbours to see if they are affected and ask what they recommend.
(the wind can spread the drift all around the block, not just next door)
Find a company that discloses ALL ingredients (and research them).
Use less product than is recommended (they all want to sell more).
An extra rinse can help remove residues and reduce exposure.
It’s ok to wash your things less frequently too!
Choose products that are healthy for you, your family, and your neighbourhood!
Our lawmakers should be able to ensure “safe” laundry detergents for the whole population! Simple answer to the producers — take all smelly and unsafe ingredients out — or be heavily fined.
Agreed… and there should be no right to pollute… We should have the right to a healthy environment!
Emissions from dryer vents during use of fragranced and fragrance-free laundry products
“Fragranced laundry products emit a range of VOCs such as acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, α-pinene, linalool, and d-limonene (Steinemann et al. 2013).
Some of these VOCs are classified as potentially hazardous and can have adverse effects on human health and the environment (Mendell 2007; Rumchev et al. 2004; Spengler et al. 2000).
In particular, exposure to d-limonene has been associated with adverse health effects such as skin and eye irritation (NIH 2018) and breathing difficulties such as wheezing or coughing (NICNAS 2018).
Furthermore, terpenes such as d-limonene can react with ozone to generate hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and ultrafine particles (Nazaroff and Weschler 2004).
Exposure to fragranced emissions from dryer vents has been associated with adverse health effects in the general population and in vulnerable sub-populations.” …
“Fragranced laundry products emit a range of volatile organic compounds, including hazardous air pollutants. Exposure to fragranced emissions from laundry products has been associated with adverse health effects such as asthma attacks and migraine headaches. Little is known about volatile emissions from clothes dryer vents and the effectiveness of strategies to reduce concentrations and risks.
This study investigates volatile emissions from six residential dryer vents, with a focus on d-limonene. It analyses and compares concentrations of d-limonene during use of fragranced and fragrance-free laundry products, as well as changes in switching from fragranced to fragrance-free products.
In households using fragranced laundry detergent, the highest concentration of d-limonene from a dryer vent was 118 μg/m3 (mean 33.34 μg/m3). By contrast, in households using only fragrance-free detergent, the highest concentration of d-limonene from a dryer vent was 0.26 μg/m3 (mean 0.25 μg/m3).
After households using fragranced detergent switched to using fragrance-free detergent, the concentrations of d-limonene in dryer vent emissions were reduced by up to 99.7% (mean 79.1%).
This simple strategy of switching to fragrance-free products significantly and almost completely eliminated d-limonene emissions.
Results from this study demonstrate that changing from fragranced to fragrance-free products can be a straightforward and effective approach to reduce ambient air pollution and potential health risks.”
Note that most conventional name brand and some “green” fragrance-free laundry products still emit hazardous chemicals (see the chart in the research paper and/or in the link in the post above), so to get a truly inert laundry product is not as easy as it should be.
Manufacturers and legislators have a lot of work to do and we have to push them to act!
Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products
First Online: 19 August 2011
Common laundry products, used in washing and drying machines, can contribute to outdoor emissions through dryer vents. However, the types and amounts of chemicals emitted are largely unknown.
To investigate these emissions, we analyzed the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) both in the headspace of fragranced laundry products and in the air emitted from dryer vents during use of these products. In a controlled study of washing and drying laundry, we sampled emissions from two residential dryer vents during the use of no products, fragranced detergent, and fragranced detergent plus fragranced dryer sheet.
Our analyses found more than 25 VOCs emitted from dryer vents, with the highest concentrations of acetaldehyde, acetone, and ethanol. Seven of these VOCs are classified as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and two as carcinogenic HAPs (acetaldehyde and benzene) with no safe exposure level, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
As context for significance, the acetaldehyde emissions during use of one brand of laundry detergent would represent 3% of total acetaldehyde emissions from automobiles in the study area.
Our study points to the need for additional research on this source of emissions and the potential impacts on human and environmental health.
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this is waht kills me most with MCS. scented dryer vent fumes. only some neighbors were willing to switch. not rich enough to buy or build a secluded home. some of that stuff is SOOOOOO strong too, coming in my widow sealed house. i can smell dryer sheets on people who walk by FIFTY FEET away! i dont understand how people arent dropping dead fro using this crap.
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Scented laundry products are what I am most allergic to and where I live in Florida, the scented air is non stop around the clock. Its so strong that I have to put my t-shirt over my nose just to get a few breaths of non scented air as I walk my poor dog for a few blocks out of necessity for her. I try to drive away with my dog as much as I can to a park 12 miles away just to have fresh air to breathe. How do other people stand using this strong chemical laundry stuff? It wafts around and is so strong as I stand in my yard and I am forced to hold my breath or cover my nose. It is coming from neighbors dryer vents and also a 24 hour laundromat a few blocks away. Its the most awful thing ever. Why are these lingering chemicals that are invisible and can float through neighbourhoods being allowed into laundry products?
Are dangerous chemicals being dumped into these products instead of disposing of them properly and thus saving companies a lot of money?
Why aren’t these laundry products being tested for respiratory safety?
Its horrible what has happened to fresh air in neighborhoods now, there is no more fresh air anymore!
It’s mind-boggling how it’s legal to pollute air, water, and our bodies like this, causing so much harm.
You asked “Are dangerous chemicals being dumped into these products instead of disposing of them properly and thus saving companies a lot of money?” and I have come to the conclusion that this is almost the only answer that makes sense. It has happened in other cases.
I long for fresh clean unpolluted and fragrance-free air too. I hope we live to breathe freely in our communities.
May society start paying attention to human canaries soon, before it’s too late and everyone’s brains and bodies are adversely affected.
Many laundry products use newly disclosed (in California) toxic chemicals, as reported here:
Beyond the Label: Health Impacts of Harmful Ingredients in Cleaning Products