Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in commercial laundry detergents:
Phenols: Deemed toxic by the National Health Institute, phenols can cause damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver. They are very easily absorbed into the skin, making them especially dangerous. Phenols have been linked to serious health conditions and even death.
Optical brighteners: These are a popular new ingredient in commercial detergents. They trick the eye by altering ultraviolet wavelengths to make clothes look whiter. The result may be a facade, but the chemical dangers from these products are very real. Studies have shown these agents are extremely toxic to fish and can cause mutations in bacteria. They can also trigger strong allergic reactions in humans when exposed to sunlight.
Bleach: A traditional household cleaner, bleach has harmful side effects that have been known for decades. Bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is a leading cause of poisoning in the home. It is a strong irritant to the eyes, nose and throat. Bleach can also cause severe reactions if it comes in contact with the skin.
Surfactants: A surfactant is a substance which basically binds to oily particles and carries them away with water during washing. These are what make our clothes clean when we wash them. Surfactants can be natural or synthetic. Natural surfactants are generally safe for people and the water supply, but chemical surfactants are not. Commercial laundry detergents are loaded with synthetic surfactants.
Fragrance: Artificial fragrances in laundry products are a strong irritant. The chemicals in fragrance additives can cause itchy, watery eyes and stinging nostrils. But the effects go much deeper than that. Chemical fragrances can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate allergies. They can even affect your thinking, making concentration and coordination difficult. All of these irritations show their worst in sensitive individuals, although no one is immune to the effects of these chemicals.
Any one of these chemical additives causes plenty of harm on its own, but all of these substances are combined and can react with each other in laundry detergents, becoming even more dangerous together than they were by themselves.
Think about it: clothing is in constant contact with your skin. The skin is exceptionally permeable; it quickly absorbs outside substances directly into the blood stream. Many experts recommend: if you wouldn`t eat it or drink it, you shouldn`t be letting it come into contact with your skin. Ditch the commercial laundry detergents and seek out more natural ways to clean your clothes.
You won't believe these facts about chemical perfumes:
A survey of selected scented consumer goods showed the products emitted more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws.1 Even products advertised as “green,” “natural,” or “organic” emitted as many hazardous chemicals as standard ones.
Steinemann and colleagues found the average number of VOCs emitted was 17.1 Each product emitted 1–8 toxic or hazardous chemicals, and close to half (44%) generated at least 1 of 24 carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants, such as acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, or methylene chloride.1 These hazardous air pollutants have no safe exposure level, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.3 Of the 133 VOCs detected, only ethanol was listed on any label (for 2 products), and only ethanol and 2-butoxyethanol were listed on any Material Safety Data Sheet (for 5 products and 1 product, respectively) (read the entire study here)
Protect yourself and your family, make these products yourself, GO HOMEGROWN!!!!
Your clothes will take a few wash cycles to lose the coating from commercial detergents and softeners, but the sooner you get started the sooner your family will be free from harsh chemicals and perfumes.