Do scented laundry products release carcinogens?
(CBS) Scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets make laundry smell great – but do they cause cancer?
A small study suggests scented laundry items contain carcinogens that waft through vents, potentially raising cancer risk.
“This is an interesting source of pollution because emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated,” said lead author Dr. Anne Steinemann, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of public affairs at the University of Washington, said in a written statement. “If they’re coming out of a smokestack or tail pipe, they’re regulated, but if they’re coming out of a dryer vent, they’re not.”Previous studies have looked at what chemicals are released by laundry products, since manufacturers don’t have to disclose ingredients used in fragrances or laundry products.
Needless to say, these researchers weren’t thrilled with what they found.
For the study – published in the August issue of Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health – researchers enlisted two homeowners to volunteer their washers and dryers, which the team scrubbed clean beforehand. The researchers ran a regular laundry cycle for three scenarios in each home: once without any detergent, once with a scented liquid laundry detergent, and the last with both scented detergent and a leading brand of scented dryer sheets.
Their analysis found more than 25 “volatile” air pollutants – including the carcinogens acetaldehyde and benzene.
Benzene causes leukemia and other blood cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Acetaldehyde has been shown to cause nasal and throat cancer in animal studies.
Steinemann thinks agencies focus too much on limiting other pollution sources when they should look closer to home.
“We focus a lot of attention on how to reduce emissions of pollutants from automobiles,” she said. “And here’s one source of pollutants that could be reduced.”
But there is an alternative:
Wool dryer balls are an all-natural alternative to fabric softener or dryer sheets and, when scented with essential oils, can deliver a subtle scent to your laundry that’s safe and non-toxic.
It’s no secret that we’ve been on a mission to live a more simple, natural and healthy way of life.
Let’s work hard to not pollute our planet, overschedule our lives, avoiding the constant rush from here to there and squashing that ever present fear of missing out.
Let’s try to encourage hobbies for ourselves and our kids that help to exercise both our brains and our bodies.
We are very conscious and intentional about what we bring into our home – this includes everything from clothing and toys to food and cleaning supplies.
This is why I choose woolen dryer balls with essential oils on them!!!
Wool dryer balls are not only a healthier alternative for your family, but they’re less expensive (lasting for years to come), and far better for your dryer & the environment than their store-bought, chemical alternatives. And even better, when scented with essential oils, they can deliver a subtle scent to your laundry that’s safe and non-toxic.
More about dryer balls and how to use them here.
Original Post: CBS