Are dryer sheets and fabric softeners toxic? Yes! Read on to learn why you will want to ditch those laundry products.
I recently saw a television commercial bragging that the fragrant smell of this certain brand’s laundry product stays with you throughout the day. My heart sank. This is definitely not a good thing!
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Are Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softeners Toxic? Don’t Be Fooled
As a typical consumer, you may likely be unaware of the potential damage you’re causing to yourself and your household by using dryer sheets and fabric softeners.
Yes, the same dryer sheets and fabric softeners that are supposed to help make your clothes less static and fresh smelling can have dire, unintended consequences. Many of their product ingredients and artificial chemical fragrances contain toxins that are harmful to your body.
Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs around 60% of what we put on it. When chemicals come in contact with our skin – they are absorbed and, in fact, they enter our bloodstream where they are then distributed throughout our body.
Don’t assume that this only occurs when the chemicals are directly applied to your skin such as in a skincare product. It can be as simple as wearing clothing that has been washed using synthetic detergent and fabric softener or dried with toxic dryer sheets.
It is worse when the products are heated. A University of Washington researcher did an analysis of captured gases coming from dryer vents which had scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets being used. The researcher found “more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals – acetaldehyde and benzene – are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.”
In addition to having harmful chemicals absorbed into your skin by wearing clothes that have been laundered with dryer sheets and fabric softener, you can also inhale chemicals from these products which can be hazardous to your health.
Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener Health Risks
Commercial dryer sheets and fabric softeners are filled with ingredients to make a specific fragrance. If manufacturers were to list all the ingredients used in a fragrance, the list could go on and on.
The toxins in synthetic fragrances can cause a host of health challenges and chronic diseases such as:
- liver disorders
- kidney problems
- eye and skin irritation
- respiratory problems
- disruption of the endocrine system
- hormonal imbalances – negatively affecting the way your body operates
With a host of different health challenges that can result, it’s best to opt for friendlier laundry options.
Be On the Lookout for Additional Harmful Chemicals
In addition to synthetic fragrances, you may be wondering what are some of the other harmful chemicals found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners?
The most common ones include
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
- 1-4 dioxane
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)
Most of these chemicals are allergens. Try to avoid these ingredients as much as possible.
Make the right choices and avoid toxic dryer sheets and fabric softeners. You don’t have to be a prisoner to dryer sheets or fabric softener. There are healthier alternatives!
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