Keeping on with our theme this week of Holistic Health and our personal story, I would like to talk about laundry detergent.
My children, as I said yesterday, definitely propelled me into an alternative health life style. But as I was helping them with their allergies, I started to be more aware of my own.
I used to love to use fabric softener! When we had to make major changes in our home because of our severely allergic son, I was directed not to use any perfumed or phosphate laundry detergent. It felt “wrong” at the time, for our clothes and bedding not to have any of the smells that are so common in American homes!! You start to associate perfume from laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets with “clean and fresh laundry”- but that far from the truth.
On occasion when I would want to use a (way over priced;-) product to “freshen” things up in our home, I would immediately have sinus issues. It would quickly turn into an infection and I would usually end up having what I thought was a cold and then bronchitis. But it started with an allergy.
This is what Mercola.com had to say about laundry Detergent;
“Laundry detergents typically contain hazardous ingredients. The typical American home contains 3-10 gallons of toxic cleaning materials that can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, endocrine system disruption and cancer!!” REALLY????
“1,4 Dioxin is a by-product and does not have to be listed on labeling (but is in most detergents). It is found to be toxic to the brain, central nervous system, kidneys, liver and respiratory system.”
The irishtwinssoaps.com listed this information about common household chemicals on their site;
Phenols: Toxic, A Suspected Carcinogen And Rapidly Absorbed. Effects Include Swelling, Pimples, And Hives. Internal Consumption Can Cause Circulatory Collapse, Cold Sweats, Coma, And Death.
Optical Brighteners: These Synthetic Chemicals Convert UV Light Wavelengths Into Visible Light, Which Makes Laundered Clothes Appear Whiter (Although Does Not Actually Affect The Cleanliness Of The Clothing). They’ve Been Found To Be Toxic To Fish And To Cause Bacterial Mutations. Further, They Can Cause Allergic Reactions When Exposed To Skin That Is Later Exposed To Sunlight.
Linear Alkyl Sodium Sulfonates (LAS): These Synthetic Surfactants Are Commonly Listed As ‘Anionic Surfactants’ On Labels, And Are One Of The Most Common Surfactants In Use. During Their Production Process, Carcinogenic And Reproductive Toxins Such As Benzene Are Released Into The Environment. They Also Biodegrade Slowly, Making Them A Hazard In The Environment.
Petroleum Distillates (Aka Napthas): These Chemicals Have Been Linked To Cancer, Lung Damage, Lung Inflammation And Damage To Mucous Membranes.
Phosphates: These Chemicals Are Used To Remove Hard-Water Minerals To Make Detergents More Effective, And To Prevent Dirt From Settling Back Onto Clothes During A Wash. A Major Problem With Them Is That, When Released Into The Environment, They Stimulate The Growth Of Certain Marine Plants, Which Contributes To Unbalanced Ecosystems. Many States Have Banned Or Restricted The Use Of Phosphates For This Reason, And You May See Laundry Detergents Advertised As “Low-Phosphate” Or “Phosphate-Free.”
Sodium Hypochlorite (Household Bleach): This Is A Chemical Precursor To Chlorine, Which Is Highly Toxic And Involved In More Household Poisonings Than Any Other Chemical. When It Reacts With Organic Materials In The Environment, Carcinogenic And Toxic Compounds Are Created Than Can Cause Reproductive, Endocrine And Immune System Disorders.
EDTA: Skin Irritant Leading To Allergies, Asthma, And Skin Rashes. EDTA Is A Class Of Compounds Used As An Alternative To Phosphates To Reduce Mineral Hardness In Water, Prevent Bleaching Agents From Becoming Active Before They’re Put In Water And As A Foaming Stabilizer. EDTA Does Not Biodegrade Readily And Can Re-Dissolve Toxic Heavy Metals In The Environment, Allowing Them To Re-Enter The Food Chain.
Artificial Fragrances: Toxic Effects On Fish And Mammals, Often Causes Allergies, Skin And Eye Irritation. Do Not Easily Bio-Degrade Ain The Environment.
Ammonia: Can Cause Burns, Cataracts & Corneal Damage. Long Term Repeated Exposure Can Cause Bronchitis And Pneumonia. Also Has A Toxic Effect On Plants, Animals And Fish.
Sodium Sulfate: It Is Corrosive And A Severe Eye, Skin, And Respiratory Irritant. Can Cause Asthma Attacks.
The Fragrances In Detergents And Fabric Softeners Can Contain Phthalates, Chemicals That Have Been Linked To Cancer And Reproductive-System Harm To Animal Lab Tests. Fragrances May Also Trigger Asthma And Allergic Reactions, With Symptoms Including Skin And Respiratory Irritation, Headaches, And Watery Eyes.
Other Ingredients Turn Dangerous When Combined: Diethoanolamine And Triethanolamine Can React With Nitrates (An Often Undisclosed Preservative) To Form Carcinogenic Nitrosamines.
Waterways Aren’t Immune To These Dangerous Ingredients, Either. As Detergents, Bleaches And Fabric Softeners Get Washed Down Your Laundry Room Drain, They Enter Groundwater, Where They React With Other Man-Made And Naturally Occurring Chemicals And Seep Into Drinking Water Supplies. Chlorine Bleach, For Instance, Reacts With Carbon Molecules To Create Organochlorines, Such As Dioxin.
LOOK FOR LAUNDRY “SOAP”
That Is Free Of Phosphates, Petroleum Solvents, Chlorine, Perfumes, Dyes, Animal By-Products, And Other Common Triggers For Respiratory And Skin Irritations. Look For Environmentally Responsible Products.
When I started a Holistic approach ( and I am ever tweaking it and learning); changed my diet, cut down on chemicals in our home, added supplements like Kyo-Dophlis, Vitamin C (NOT made from corn), and use essential oils for health and cleaning- I and my family started to be healthier and not catch every thing that was being passed around. We tend to think…washing laundry over there, could by no means affect my cold that I am having over here…..but they all do affect each other.
So is your laundry soap lethal? Check for the ingredients listed above and chances are good it is. Go REALLY clean by cutting out the chemicals. If you want fragrance in your laundry, use a clear and free laundry soap and add your favorite essential oil to it! They are natural plant products, not perfumes. Or buy some of our Bergamot Laundry Soap from Honest Aromas!
We will be at the Oil City Library Market today if you need to pick some up!
Do you have a story about laundry detergent that you would like to share? We want to hear from you today!