Toxins in your Washing detergent
The Birth of Laundry Detergents
During WWII, the fats and oils that were used to make soap became scarce because they were being used instead to manufacture nitro-glycerine for explosives, and so another chemical source for cleaning agents had to be found. We were finding petroleum all over the place by this time, and scientists discovered that they could make thousands of new chemicals from this petroleum, including what they called detergents. Detergents soon became a regular household item because there was no alternative during WWII.
Petrochemicals, which are the synthetic chemicals made out of petroleum, are found in the ingredients on laundry detergents such as fragrance, phthalates, artificial colors and NPEs.Corporate Brain ‘Wash’
Detergents are still much cheaper to manufacture than true soaps, and marketing has ensured that a majority of the population is absolutely convinced that detergents are safe to use. Would you be surprised to learn that the vast majority (greater than 80%) have never been tested? And the majority of the others have been tested only by the manufacturer and not an independent testing laboratory?
What’s even more disturbing is that they are not legally required to list their ingredients on the labels. While these chemicals may not be on the label, recent studies show many of them to be proven lethal toxins. They build up in your skin, and may cause many serious health problems such as asthma, autism, infertility, allergies, and even cancer.
The Filth within a Clean Scent
When shopping for cleaning products, what is the first thing you look for? After considering the price, you want to know what it smells like. You may think you are choosing between spring blossoms and mountain rain, but you might actually be sniffing formaldehyde and inhaling at least one carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).
The EPA reports that formaldehyde causes cancer in animals and may do so in humans. In addition to severe allergic reactions, this gas can also irritate your respiratory system and cause nausea. It is nauseating indeed to think of how often we are exposed to these fumes while doing laundry and wearing clothes that carry the scent.
Not only are the fragrances harmful, but the carriers of fragrance (phthalates) show adverse effects on reproductive health. The Environmental Working Group notes that phthalates cause deformities in the testicles of exposed male animals, while Women’s Voices for the Earth reports that phthalates may harm male children and reduce sperm count. This chemical pollutes the air and water while increasing your risk of developing liver cancer.
If you are wondering why companies use such harmful ingredients for fragrance, the answer is simply money. Natural fragrances, such as essential oils, are costly in comparison to synthetic fragrances.
The flowery perfumes escaping your wash cycle may smell pleasant, but they may trigger asthma in your children and cause the development of new allergies.