Did you know there are more that 7 dangerous chemicals lurking in your laundry detergent? In my house growing up we always used Cheer and I thought it was great. I loved the smell of the clothes hot from the dryer. The clean odor was so satisfying that I never thought twice about how my clothes became spotless and fresh. Just like artificial foods we should be wary of these too good to be true, addicting smells that permeate our laundry process. During WWI many man made chemicals were introduced due to shortages of soap. Most are still used today because they are cost effective but their use may have long-term affects on our delicate systems.
Dangerous Chemicals In Laundry Detergent
Here I share dangerous chemicals in laundry detergents, their harmful effects on health and safe laundry detergent alternative.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate: is a cheap but very effective foaming agent. Most SLS contains dioxane which is classified in California under prop 65 to cause cancer. The EPA also classified dioxane as a probable carcinogen because it caused cancer in laboratory animals. Some agencies say its safe in small amounts but why take a chance? Using detergent everyday of our lives does not seem like a small amount.
Phosphates: make up 50% of the weight of detergent and causes growth of algal blooms that kill plants and fish. The amount of phosphates in city waste water increased from 20,000 to 150,000 tons per year from 1940 to 1970.
Linear Alkyl Sodium Sulfonates (LAS): help to soften water to make clothes easier to clean but the problem is that during the manufacturing process carcinogens and reproductive toxins are released into the environment. LAS are synthetic and biodegrade very slowly. LAS is toxic and can cause skin irritation.
Alkyl Phenoxy Ethanols: is another water softener that can cause chronic health problems. These ethanol’s can activate estrogen receptors which can stimulate female cancer and feminize male fish. This chemical is often used as a spermicide.
Artificial Fragrances: are usually made from petroleum which is almost impossible to break down in the environment. They cause allergies and have toxic effects on mammals.
Quaternium 15: is an ammonium chloride that disinfects and deodorizes. This chemical releases formaldehyde which can cause asthma, cancer, reproductive problem, and even death.
Polycarboxylates: are similar in structure to plastics and are very new, meaning these synthetic substances have not been fully studied. These substances are synthetic petroleum based, non-biodegrable and their long term effect on human and environmental health is unknown.
Detergent Danger Summary:
Popular detergents such as Cheer or Tide are full of chemicals that pollute our air/water and many chemicals are not even required to be listed. Many of these substances in washing powders take thousands of years to break down and even degrade into more dangerous substances. Common chemicals in detergent are made from petroleum products which can cause various cancers, reproductive problems and weight gain. Artificial fragrances can also be made from petroleum and have been linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals, and often cause allergies of the skin or eyes.
Safe alternatives to get your clothes squeaky clean and fresh!
I heard about these from my little brother who is totally environmentally conscious. A few months ago I bought Soap Nuts and I was hooked after the first wash. They come with a little cotton bag that you add 4 soap nuts into and throw it into the washer. It is that easy! These powerful nuts worked on my greasiest kitchen towels, which was true real test. I was amazed at how clean and fresh my clothes were after each load. I hope you ditch your harmful detergents and switch to eco-friendly Soap Nuts.
Soap nuts are harversted from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree in India from the base of the Himalayas. Local farmers harvest the soap berry after it falls from the tree. The nuts are then dried in the sun without any chemical processing. The shells contain a natural saponin (so does quinoa-gross!) which creates a soapy non-toxic detergent.
More great reasons to switch to soap nuts:
- 100% Organic
- Cruelty free
- Paraben free
- Phthalates free
- Phosphate free
- Lanolin free
- Alcohol free
- Chlorine free
- Petroleum free
- Paba Free
- Formaldehyde free
- Sulfate Free
Click below to buy my favorite brand of soap nuts and support my blog.