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Do You Know What is Being Left Behind on Your Freshly Washed Clothes?
The Dirt on Detergents:
The average family washes approximately 80 pounds of laundry per week—or 35 billion loads of laundry per year! This means that 17.5 billion cups of laundry detergent are being used every year in the U.S. alone. Not only can you come in contact with caustic chemicals via your clothing, from having been laundered in them, but you can breathe them into your lungs once they become airborne in the process of doing your laundry.
You'll be appalled when you discover what's turning up in your clothes, towels, and sheets, freshly laundered in your at-home washing machine or local laundromat. What's more, you may not be able to smell it, see it, or feel it. But it's there, and it threatens your family's health in a way you never imagined.
Conventional cleaning products, rather than producing pristine homes as advertisements claim, actually leave indoor air polluted with a toxic smog of petrochemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the synthetic fragrances used to mask them. Fumes emitted by everyday household products such as cleansers, cosmetics, and paint are "the same stuff that comes out of a tailpipe or a smokestack," a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board told the Los Angeles Times. Indoor air pollution levels can be from two to more than 100 times higher than outside, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Think, then, what damage VOCs in cleaning products, used on a regular basis year-round, can do in the enclosed space of a home, where they can build up for months. "When they evaporate, they are transported directly to the brain, where they can be as intoxicating as ether or chloroform. These are palpably dangerous to health," said Kaye Kilburn, professor of internal medicine at the University of Southern California medical school.
Cleaning-product VOCs, many of which are neurotoxins and known or suspected carcinogens and/or hormone disruptors, have been implicated in headaches, dizziness, watery eyes, skin rashes, and respiratory problems. A Spanish study published in November 2003 surveyed over 4,000 women and found that 25 percent of asthma cases in the group were attributable to domestic cleaning work.
Health effects of ingredients in common household products include:
· Respiratory problems
· Eye irritation
· Disruption of the endocrine system
One of the most common household products is laundry detergent.
Most laundry detergents contain a cocktail of potentially toxic cancer-causing chemicals that can leave residues behind on your clothing… and can be absorbed by your skin or released into the air you breathe. What’s more, detergent manufacturers are not required by law to list these ingredients.
Here are just some of the toxins found in typical detergent …
· Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – Chemical foaming agent known as a surfactant. Studies
have linked use of this chemical to a variety of health issues from skin irritation to
· Dioxane (1,4-dioxane) – The majority of top laundry detergent brands contain this
synthetic petrochemical known as a carcinogen. This is a by-product contaminant of
the manufacturing process and is not required to be listed on product labels.
· Linear Alky Benzene Sulfonates (LAS) – Synthetic petrochemicals that biodegrade
slowly making them an environmental hazard. Benzene may cause cancer in humans
· Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE) – Petrochemical surfactant banned in the EU and
Canada. May cause liver and kidney damage. Biodegradable, but biodegrades into
more toxic substances.
· Petroleum distillates (aka napthas) – Derived from synthetic crude oil, linked to
cancer, lung and mucous membrane damage.
· Phenols – Can cause toxicity throughout the entire body.
· Optical brighteners – Can be toxic to fish and cause allergic reactions in humans.
· Artificial fragrances – Linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals, and can
cause allergies, skin and eye irritation to humans.
· Phosphates – Used to prevent dirt from settling back into clothes after being washed.
Can stimulate growth of marine plants that trigger unbalanced ecosystems.
· Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) – Group of compounds used as an alternative
to phosphates. Found to cause reproductive and developmental effects in lab animals
and does not readily biodegrade.
· Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach) – Chemical precursor to chlorine, which is
extremely toxic. Skin contact can produce caustic irritation or burns. Mixing with
other cleaning products can create hazardous fumes.
These toxic chemicals found in conventional laundry detergents can not only cause you harm, but raise havoc in the environment as well. These harsh chemicals can build up in your clothes and eventually penetrate your skin.
Squeaky Green is a natural and affordable alternative to commercial laundry products. Now you can have fresh, clean laundry with no chemical residue. Our biodegradable formula leaves you with a good feeling knowing that you're nurturing the environment as well as your family.
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