At our last meeting Lara spoke briefly about the negative effects of fabric softener. Here is a little more info for everyone.
Fabric softener and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products around. These products contain chemicals that can cause cancer and brain damage. Some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets include the following:
Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
Limonene: Known carcinogen A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
The chemicals in fabric softeners are irritating and strong smelling, thus strong fragrances are added to cover the chemical odors. Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. These chemicals are slowly released either into the air you and your family inhale or absorbed into your skin. Dryer sheets may be even worse for you as they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are then released out into the environment.
Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include the following:
Central nervous system disorders
Blood pressure reduction
Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
The effects of these chemicals may not be seen today but may occur over time. Make changes to your laundry today. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals. If you still desire a nice smell to your clothing add essential oils that are clear with no coloring as the colored oils may stain your clothing. You will actually save money using alternative methods and find scents that your family enjoys. For example, Lavendar essential oil is wonderful to add to your children's pajamas as it helps soothe and calm them during pre-bedtime routines.
Natural Suggestions to soften your clothing:
Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric
Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to wash cycle to soften fabric and eliminate cling
Visit your local health food store for a natural fabric softener that uses a natural base instead of chemicals.