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There are two reasons you do your laundry. The first is to get rid of all of the dirt, germs and allergens on it so that you and your family stay healthy. And, the second is to make sure that it smells and looks clean and fresh. Scented dryer sheets really help with that last step.
But, did you know dryer sheets are capable of actually slowly harming you… by destroying your hormone balance, allowing toxins to leach into your system and possibly even giving you cancer?
Well, hold on to your hat because it’s true.
If you’ve been using dryer sheets to ward off static cling and give your laundry that April fresh scent, I’m afraid that what you’re about to read here will be quite upsetting…
You would think that companies wouldn’t be allowed to poison you with their products. But the ones that make dryer sheets have been getting away with it for decades now.
Let’s go over the top three health risks you’re exposed to every time you use a dryer sheet…
Dryer sheet health risk #1 – Cancer causing agents
Researchers at the University of Washington set out to discover what is really in those dryer sheets by analyzing the emissions from dryer vents. So they put clean, organic towels and dryer sheets in the machine, and let her roll.
Among other hazardous pollutants, they found two chemicals, acetaldehyde and benzene, were being released from the dryer sheets. The big deal about those chemicals?
They’re known carcinogens, for which the EPA says there is no safe exposure level.
Other carcinogens that have been found in dryer sheets include 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Yep, that’s right… The stuff they use to embalm dead bodies could be lurking on your laundry room shelf at this very minute.
Dryer sheet health risk #2 – Hormone disruptors
And, if cancer wasn’t enough, dryer sheets also have chemicals in them that can disrupt your hormones.
You see, those pretty scents that dryer sheets give your clothes come from fragrance compounds that can target your endocrine (hormone) system… Compounds like acetyl hexamethyl tetralin, isobornyl acetate and phenethyl alcohol.
Those don’t sound natural at all, do they? When your endocrine system is out of whack, your whole body will be. Think “thyroid.”
Dryer sheet danger #3 – Asthma triggers
Not enough to put you off using dryer sheets yet? Well, if you or a loved one suffers from respiratory problems like asthma, you’re going to want to think again.
The fabric softeners that coat those sheets are what are known as an “Asthmagens.” The get that name because they’re compounds that can trigger asthma attacks.
And, one scientific study even found that exposure to those fabric softeners actually limited airflow and caused lung irritation.
It’s shocking that you can just pick these things up off a store’s shelves.
Your dryer sheet alternatives
Instead of using these dangerous, chemical-laden sheets to soften your clothes and get rid of static cling, there is a natural option that works great…
Wool dryer balls don’t contain any toxic chemicals. As a bonus, they last for thousands of loads unlike those dryer sheets that you have to throw away after every single use. And, not only do they leave your clothes wrinkle and static cling-free, they actually cut down on drying time, saving you money on your electric bill.
It’s time to ditch the dryer sheets and the major health risks that come with them. Use wool balls instead to protect you and your family.
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- Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents — University of Washington
- Acetaldehyde — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- INDOOR AIR QUALITY: Scented Products Emit a Bouquet of VOCs — Environmental Health Perspectives
- Cationic fabric softeners — Environmental Working Group
- Dryer Vents: An Overlooked Source of Pollution? — Environmental Health Perspectives
- Respiratory toxicity of fabric softener emissions — Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A