Dangers of Fabric Softeners/Dryer Sheets
I read a startling and shocking article that posed the question as to whether fabric softeners laced with chemicals contribute to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). According to Dr. Ron Harper, of the UCLA Medical School Brain Research Institute, he believes that an anaphylactic reaction (hypersensitivity to a foreign substance) is responsible for some SIDS cases. He further states that fabric softeners with their array of chemical components could not be ruled out as possible causative agents.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), there is a mind- boggling list of dangerous petrochemicals in these products, many of them used in untested combinations, there are many chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets such as Alpha-Terpineol, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Camphor, Chloroform, Ethyl Acetate and others. These chemicals have been found to cause various health problems including central nervous system disorders, irritation to mucous membranes, pancreatic cancer, irritation to upper respiratory tract, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and the list goes on and on.
With this information, it makes sense to begin using more natural and safe fabric softener for the health of your family. I have listed a few healthy tips for you to consider as you keep your home a “healthy home.”
What To Look For
- AVOID fabric softeners that contain benzyl acetate, formaldehyde, camphor, chloroform, ethyl acetate, pentane, linalool and limonene.
- Fabric softeners made with natural ingredients not chemicals.
- Add baking soda to your rinse cycle.
- Vinegar is a natural fabric softener – add ½ cup to your wash cycle.
- Wash and dry cottons and synthetic fabrics separately.
- Synthetic fabrics contribute to static cling so consider not using your dryer for nylon, rayon and other synthetic fabrics.