Tag Archives: chemicals in laundry products

About Those Fragrance-Free Laundry Products

Some of us have gone to great lengths to encourage others to use fragrance-free products, especially for laundry, as many of the chemicals in fragrances cause such  disabling effects for us.

Not only that, but fragranced laundry products pollute entire neighbourhoods with hazardous chemicals when pumped out of dryer vents (which were designed to emit moisture, not toxic chemicals), meaning that we (and others with asthma, migraines, COPD, etc) can’t sit or work outside in our gardens, open our windows for fresh air, or go for walks safely when other people are doing laundry with regular commercial  products (and when are they not?), because we could be felled at any time from the emissions.

Much to our chagrin, many of us have discovered that some fragrance-free products can also make us dizzy, cause breathing difficulties like asthma, create cognitive confusion and memory problems, give us headaches, chemical hangovers, and more.

This has caused all kinds of difficulties, not just for us, but for the people who switched products only to discover that their efforts were not “good enough” for us.

“Can’t they EVER be happy?  Why are they still complaining?”

Anne Steinemann’s recently published research regarding VOCs emitted from regular personal care, cleaning, and laundry products, (the popular ones used by most people in the “developed” world) sheds some much needed light on the problems.

So what did she find?

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Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products and Health Effects

toxic chemicals in laundry products

Some people wonder what the fuss about laundry products is all about.

What follows is Dr Anne Steinemann’s research on specific chemicals and their health effects. These are not just benign additives. They cause serious harm, and they are accumulating in ourselves and the environment, where they also harm other species.

Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products and Health Effects

Principal Investigator: Anne C. Steinemann, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Public Affairs, University of Washington.

Chemicals identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) headspace analysis.

Health and regulatory information obtained from databases compiled by the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies.

Note that fragranced consumer products are not required to disclose all chemicals, not even ones classified as toxic or hazardous. None of these chemicals were listed on any product label or material safety data sheet.

ACETALDEHYDE (75-07-0)
Recognized Carcinogen
Suspected Developmental Toxicant, Immunotoxicant, Kidney Toxicant, Neurotoxicant, Respiratory Toxicant, Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant
Regulated as toxic/hazardous chemical under the following law(s):
Air Contaminants (OSH Act); Hazardous Air Pollutants (CAA); Hazardous Substances (CERCLA); Regulated Toxic, Explosive, or Flammable Substances (CAA); Toxic Release Inventory Chemicals (EPCRA)

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Neigbourhood Pollution

This device emits unregulated toxic chemicals to the entire neighborhood when you use conventional laundry products

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Toxic chemicals in everyday laundry products!?!

During the last couple of years we’ve  seen a lot of research validating what Canaries (people with chemical sensitivities)  have been telling everyone for years: Everyday laundry products contain harmful toxic chemicals!

see: Toxic Chemicals in Fragranced Laundry Products and Health Effects

Below are links to articles and independently done (and funded) published research  that show SOME (not all) of the toxic chemicals in conventional, everyday laundry products. Chemicals  we  have 24/7 contact with, because not all of them get rinsed out of clothing and bedding… Chemicals  that get washed down our drains and  into waterways, and don’t get adequately filtered out of our drinking water… Chemicals that  if your municipality sells sewage sludge, then also get spread onto farmers fields as fertilizer (for food you buy and eat from  the supermarket)… Chemicals that get blown off laundry lines or pumped out of dryer vents (that were only designed to emit moisture) off your property and into the surrounding neighbourhood air for everyone else to breathe…

laundry products should not disable

Note that even the “natural” and fragrance-free products can contain toxic chemicals, because the industry is not regulated and they can say and do pretty much what they want.

Links updated October 24, 2015.

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