The Maids of Portland, Maine

Monday, July 16, 2012

Do You Know What Is In Your Fabric Softener?

Almost everyone today adds chemical fabric softener to their laundry. Print ads tell us that the softener will keep our clothes from being hard, but will also address static cling. Have you ever asked yourself, "What exactly is fabric softener?"

Fabric softener is a combination of chemicals that coat the surface of textiles with a thin layer of lubrication, thus keeping laundry soft and reducing static cling. When fabric softener was first introduced, it was made of a combination of soap and oil or other natural oils. Today, these softeners are made of noxious chemicals masked by a large amount of fragrance.

Here is a partial list of some of the toxic chemicals that can be found in today's softeners:

     * Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problems
     * Camphor: causes central nervous disorders, and is easily absorbed through the skin
     * Chloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin
     * Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
     * Benzyl Alcohol: respiratory tract irritant
     * Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic on the EPA's "hazardous waste" list
     * Limonene: a known carcinogen that irritates eyes and skin

If you are using liquid softener, you are pouring toxic chemicals into the ocean. Dryer sheets are even worse. When those chemicals are heated, you breathe the chemicals into your lungs. The "fresh from the dryer" smell is toxic!! For an alternative, reach for dryer balls or add a 1/4 cup of baking soda to your wash cycle.