January 23, 2010

What's In Those Dryer Sheets Anyways?

Out of personal interest, I decided to try and find out what is in dryer sheets and fabric softeners. It wasn't difficult.

All the more reason to do without, if you can!
By the way, my vinegar substitute for fabric softener and my wool balls in the dryer are working great. No, there's no bounce smell, but that doesn't bother me when I remember the chemicals we're easily avoiding.

Don't worry, I'm not becoming a "chemophobic" or anything like that. BUT, if I can be informed and make easy changes, it seems like a no-brainer to do so. It is impossible to protect ourselves from chemicals completely!

Copied From: Chemicals Found in Fabric Softeners/Dryer Sheets
Alpha-Terpineol
Causes CNS (central nervous system) disorders... "highly irritating to mucous membranes" ..."Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact."
Benzyl Acetate
Carconigenic (linked to pancreatic cancer). "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer."
Benzyl Alcohol
Causes CNS disorders ..."irritating to the upper respiratory tract" ..."headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure."
Camphor
Causes CNS disorders. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Symptoms: "local irritant and CNS stimulant" ..."readily absorbed through body tissues" ..."irritation of eyes, nose, and throat" ..."dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions". "Avoid inhalation of vapors."
Chloroform
Neurotoxic. Anesthetic. Carcinogenic. on EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "Avoid contact with eyes, skin, clothing. Do not breathe vapors ...Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness." "Inhalation can be fatal." "Chronic effects of overexposure may include kidney and/or liver damage." "Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure: kidney disorders, liver disorders, heart disorders, skin disorders." "Conditions to avoid: Heat..." Listed on California's Proposition 65.
Ethyl Acetate
Narcotic. On EPA's Hazardous Waste list. "...Irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract" ..."may cause headache and narcosis (stupor)" ..."may cause anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys". "Wash thoroughly after handling."
Limonene
Carcinogenic. "Prevent its contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer." "Always wash thoroughly after using this material and before eating, drinking ...applying cosmetics. Do not inhale limonene vapor."
Linalool
Narcotic. Causes CNS disorders. ..."respiratory disturbances" ..."Attracts bees." "In animal tests: ataxic gait, reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression ...depressed heart activity ...development of respiratory disturbances leading to death."
Pentane
"Danger - Harmful if inhaled ...Avoid breathing vapor." "Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors may cause CNS depression. Contact can cause eye irritation. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis (skin rash)."

CNS = Central Nervous System
Your brain and spine. CNS disorders include: Alzheimer's Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dementia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Seizures, Strokes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
CNS exposure symptoms include: aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine.

3 comments:

Horsepower said...

Great Post! I love our wool dryer balls too- Bought them from a mom at www.WoolDryerBalls.com because I lack time to make them. They really have cut the drying time and goodbye softeners! :)

Amanda said...

Good post! I stopped using them a few years ago when my doctor suggested I stop using them because of their link to cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.

We use a very mild detergent for washing our clothes but if you have any alternatives for that too, let us know!

Karina said...

I am experimenting with a homemade detergent at the moment. I will post about it this week :) hopefully!