Unless you live in a nudist colony, wearing and washing clothes is a part of life. Of course, some of us may hang our clothes to dry on a line, but I would guess, most of us choose the modern-day dryer.
If this is true, one of the most toxic things we do, on a regular basis, is use fabric softener or dryer sheets (we’ll pick on laundry detergent another day). Those perfume-laden (even fragrance-free) sheets and liquid are full of toxic chemicals.
Chemicals that infiltrate the clothes we wear, which in turn get on our skin and absorbed into our body. And according to my mother’s neurologist, and other experts in this arena, contribute to dysfunction and disease of the nervous system.
So here’s the deal…don’t pick up a box of dryer sheets or fabric softener and expect to see a list of ingredients like you would a box of cereal. That is because there are no laws in place which require the manufacturers of these products to list all the chemicals used.
Often, what you see listed is something along the lines of “biodegradable cationic softeners”. These so-called softeners that make our clothes fluffy and static-free, are toxic chemicals which build up in our body, and, over time can wreak havoc on our nervous system.
Studies have looked at what chemicals are “released” by laundry products, like dryer sheets, since manufacturers don’t have to disclose the ingredients used in them. One study found more than 25 “volatile” air pollutants — including carcinogens, acetaldehyde and benzene. Another, found the fumes to cause irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
According to the author of The Brain Wash, here are the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets and their effect on the central nervous system:
1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.
2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
4. Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.
7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapours causes central nervous system depression.
There’s just one more thing that needs to be mentioned. The author of The Brain Wash did not address the toxic issues surrounding fragrance in fabric softeners and dryer sheets. However, Mike Adams, editor of Natural News, does a fine job explaining the dangers in this article.
Ok, so I presented a problem, but as any good blogger knows, I can’t leave you without a solution. Enter How To Make Wool Dryer Balls.
Felted wool dryer balls are an easy-to-make, non-toxic, alternative for dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Throw 4-6 of these in the dryer, with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and you will never go back to dryer sheets again.