Thursday, September 8, 2011

"All Comes Out in the Wash ..."

"I should've guessed it would end up like this
I'll never say never again 
It all comes out in the wash
Who would've guessed it would wind up like this"
~ Thornely ~ All Comes Out in the Wash ~ 

Well sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if you are using your favourite washing detergent, you know the one with the lovely scent ... well you could be putting your health at great risk.  Yep, just when you thought you were safe washing your clothes, never giving it a thought, you've been doing forever .... a report comes out today about your favourite laundry detergent and the toxic chemicals it emits.  Thats right ... you see, a new study published this week in Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health found that the air released through the vent while a dryer handles a load washed with a top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and a scented dryer sheet contains more than 25 volatile organic compounds and two carcinogens.  The carcinogens where classified as acetaldehyde and benzene, where there is no safe exposure level.  And the disturbing thing is that detergent manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients used in fragrances, so it is difficult for researchers to document the origin of the toxic emissions.

It is estimated that by factoring in the top 5 brands of laundry products, dryer emissions account for more than 5% the acetaldehyde emissions of automobiles, but unlike cars, dryer emissions are unregulated.
So do we really care?  Well we should because these chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into our water systems.  So why bother eating healthy organic foods, exercises,  and leading a balanced life when we continue to expose ourselves and our children to toxic chemicals.  Everything we do counts.  And if you don't care now, you may have to one day, Trust Me.

You may be reading this and wondering well then how do you propose we clean our clothing ... well there are plenty of viable options:

  • switch to natural laundry detergents - we purchase ours from the local Costco in bulk
  • avoid detergents all together - instead put a capful of hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup of vinegar whiten whites and get rid of stains
  • avoid dryer sheets and use dryer balls instead to naturally soften your clothes
  • hang dry your clothes instead of using your dryer - save $$ too on energy bills
  • add 10 drops of tea tree oil to kill bacteria, smoke smells and other personal odors

Take the time to find out what you can do to better your health, your childrens health and environment ... go back to the basics and start with how to wash and dry your clothes.

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