Do you know what’s hiding in your laundry?
The majority of chemicals in laundry detergents, shampoos, and other consumer products have not been tested or proven to be safe.[i]
Some of the chemicals found in fragranced laundry products are on the EPA hazardous waste list.[ii]
The National Institutes of Health has stated hazardous chemicals come out of laundry dryer vents.[x] In independent tests of dryer vent emissions from a top selling brand of laundry detergent and dryer sheet, 29 VOCs were identified with seven classified as hazardous air pollutants by the EPA.[xi]
A strong association exists between synthetic fragrance and compromised respiratory symptoms.[iii]
One in three people in the US report health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products.[xii]
Your skin is the largest human organ and absorbs anything you put on it. In a scientific peer-reviewed study it was shown the skin has a 100% absorption rate for fragranced ingredients.[iv]
One in 10 people have irritation caused by scented laundry products vented outside.[v]
A few examples of the chemicals in laundry products:
- diethanolamine: Found in detergents and linked to liver and kidney tumors, as well as developmental and reproductive toxicity in animal studies.[vi]
- nonylphenol ethoxylate: Found in detergents and dry cleaning aids. Known hormone disruptor.[vii]
- Quaternium-15: Found in detergents. Releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that causes rashes and skin inflammation.[viii]
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic: Found in fabric softeners. Known for reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies.[ix]
[i] Urbina, I. (2013, April 13). Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested? The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/sunday-review/think-those-chemicals-have-been-tested.html?_r=0
[ii] Steinemann AC. Fragranced consumer products and undisclosed ingredients. Environ Impact Asses Rev (2008), doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2008.05.002.
[iii] Eberling, J., Linneberg, A., Dirkson, A., Johansen, D., Frolund, L., Madsen, F., Nielsen, N., osbech, H. (2005). “Mucosal Symptoms Elicited by Fragrance Products in a Population-based Sample in Relation to Atopy and Bronchial Hyper-reactivity.” Clinical and Experimental Allergy, Vol. 35: 75-81.
[iv] Robinson, M. K., Gerberick, G. F., Ryan, C. A., McNamee, P., White, I. R., & Basketter, D. A. (2000). The importance of exposure estimation in the assessment of skin sensitization risk. Contact dermatitis, 42(5), 251-259. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10789838\nhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1034/j.1600-0536.2000.042005251.x/asset/j.1600-0536.2000.042005251.x.pdf?v=1&t=i38wblgd&s=d018527ec6fad6def1339040915c0280a67c8f22
[v] Caress, S. M., & Steinemann, A. C. (2009). Prevalence of fragrance sensitivity in the American population. Journal of environmental health, 71, 46-50.
[vi] Diethanolamine. (2000, January). EPA Technology Transfer Network http://www3.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/diethano.html
[vii] Lee Ferguson, P. and Brownawell, B. J. (2003), Degradation of nonylphenol ethoxylates in estuarine sediment under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 22: 1189–1199. doi:10.1002/etc.5620220602
[viii] Jacob, S. E., Yang, A., Herro, E., & Zhang, C. (2010). Contact Allergens in a Pediatric Population: Association with Atopic Dermatitis and Comparison with Other North American Referral Centers. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 3(10), 29–35.
[ix] Caliman, F. A. and Gavrilescu, M. (2009), Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products and Endocrine Disrupting Agents in the Environment – A Review. Clean Soil Air Water, 37: 277–303. doi: 10.1002/clen.200900038
[x] Kessler R. (2011). Dryer Vents: An Overlooked Source of Pollution? Environmental Health Perspectives. 119(11):a474-a475. http://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.119-a474a
[xi] Steinemann AC., Gallagher L.G., Davis, A.L., et al. (2013, March). Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health . 6(1). 151-156. doi:10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1
[xii]Steinemann, A. (2016). Fragranced consumer products: exposures and effects from emissions. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, 9(8), 861-866. doi:10.1007/s11869-016-0442-z