Some of the harmful ingredients commonly found in liquid or sheet fabric softeners include:
• Chloroform: This substance was used as an anesthesia in the 1800s up through the early 1900s when its potential for causing fatal cardiac arrhythmia was discovered. A carcinogenic neurotoxin, it is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Inhaling its vapors may cause loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and/or dizziness, drowsiness. It may aggravate disorders of the heart, kidneys or liver. Its effects worsen when subjected to heat.
• A-Terpineol: Causes Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, meaning problems relating to the brain and spine such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, strokes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Early symptoms of CNS problems include aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine. A-Terpineol also irritates the mucous membranes and, if aspirated into the lungs, can cause respiratory depression, pneumonia or fatal edema.
• Benzyl Alcohol: This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dramatic drops in blood pressure.
• Benzyl Acetate: This substances has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapors can be irritating to eyes and respiratory passages and it can also be absorbed through the skin.
• Ethanol: Another fabric softener ingredient which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and linked to CNS disorders.
• Pentane: A chemcial known to be harmful if inhaled.
• Ethyl Acetate: This substance, which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list, can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It may also cause severe headaches and loss of consciousness, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys.
• Camphor: Another substance on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. It is easily absorbed through body tissue, causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Camphor can also cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.
• Linalool: A narcotic known to cause respiratory problems and CNS disorders. In animal testing, exposure to linalool has resulted in death.
• Phthalates: Used in scented products to help the scent last longer, phthlates have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive system problems.
• Limonene: This known carcinogen can cause irritation to eyes and skin.
• Also, if you follow a vegan lifestyle, you should be aware that many fabric softener sheets are made using tallow, a form of animal fat.
Manufacturers are aware that the products contain toxic chemcials. The packaging on many brands include a warning that the product should not be used on children’s sleepwear. Since some of the same brands also have large images of children and toys, however, consumers may miss the small print message.
Here is a list of just some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets:
* 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
So how could products with pretty names like Soft Ocean Mist, Summer Orchard and April Fresh be so dangerous?
The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling — so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances (think 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. Furthermore, synthetic fabrics, which are the reason fabric softeners were created in the first place, do not smell good either when heated in a dryer or heated by our bodies … hence the need for even more hefty fragrances.
Are “Soft” Clothes Worth It?
Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment. Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include:
* Central nervous system disorders
* Blood pressure reduction
* Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
* Pancreatic cancer
Soften Your Clothes Safely With These Tips
Even if you don’t feel the effects of these chemicals today, they can affect you gradually over time, and children, whose systems are still developing, are particularly at risk. There’s really no reason to expose yourself to these risky chemicals when natural alternatives exist. Not only are they safer for you, your family and the environment, but they’re much more economical too:
* Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric
* Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/16953
Today’s fabric softeners are made of noxious chemicals combined with a massive amount of fragrance that masks their nose-curling odors. Fabric softener actually makes material less absorbent, which is not a good thing for your bath towels anyway.
Here is a list of just SOME of the toxic chemicals found in commercial fabric softeners:
- Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problems
- Camphor: causes central nervous disorders, is easily absorbed through skin
- Chloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin preferred by Ted Bundy
- Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
- Benyl Alcohol: respiratory tract irritant
- Ethanol: on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list, can cause central nervous system disorders
- Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list
- Limonene: a known carcinogen that irritates eyes and skin
- Linalool: causes central nervous system disorders and depresses heart activity
Using a liquid fabric softener? You are pouring these toxic chemicals into the ocean every time you use it. Even worse than liquid fabric softeners are dryer sheets, whose chemicals are heated and then shot into the air for you to breathe into your lungs. That “fresh-from-the-dryer” smell that fabric softeners impart to your clean load of laundry? Don’t breathe it in, if you like your lungs to function. That super floral smell is masking a seriously unhealthy chemical stench.
The bottom line? You don’t need fabric softener. Why use a product that has been linked to various forms of cancer, brain damage and respiratory distress?
I get asked all the time– well what do you use for your laundry?????
Dr Bonner’s unscented all natural liquid castile soap — a few DROPS WILL DO A WHOLE LOAD OF LAUNDRY!!! I use white vinegar in my fabric softener diapenser for a fabric softener– I don’t need any thing else!!!!!!!!!
IT saves my health– saves everyone around me– saves our water & air supply saves our earth– & saves money!!!!!!!! Why doesn’t everyone give up the toxic crap???????????
We have neighbors who use toxic chemcials to do their laundry– in the warm months– I have to go inside my MCS safe home– out of my garden or yard– & close up the house & put on all my air purifiers– & still get sick from the toxic chemicals!!!!!!!!! Do parents of young children & babies not know what they are doing to those babies when they use toxic chemicals in their laundry??????????????????