There are so many toxins everyone should be aware of in laundry detergent, I will be doing a series of blogs. When I was first learning about this, I needed time to think and process it all and getting bite-sized pieces of information helped me not get overwhelmed as I started to read labels and implement what I was learning. I have some questions for you:
What does your laundry detergent have in it? Are all the ingredients on the label? Do you know what you are putting on your clothes, beds, and breathing in constantly? Do you know and/or are you willing to find out?
Toxins in Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent is one of the most common household products that contain toxins. A big toxin found in laundry detergent is 1,4-dioxane. This substance is a known carcinogen, and exposure to it has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Additionally, laundry detergent often contains fragrances, which can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. But that is not all. There are many!
Health Risks of Toxins in Laundry Detergent
The health risks associated with exposure to toxins in laundry detergent are numerous. One concern is that your clothes off-gas in your closet and your home, as well as on your body all day, every day. You really can't get away from the constant barrage of chemicals. (FYI - it takes more than 10 washings for me to get out the smell/fragrance when we are given a piece of clothing). With some ingredients causing cancer, others causing allergies, headaches, and respiratory problems, and still others causing endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental toxicity, it's no wonder moms are waking up and saying "NO!"
How to Avoid Toxins in Laundry Detergent
There are a few ways that you can avoid exposure to toxins in laundry detergent. First, you can choose to use natural or eco-friendly laundry detergents that do not contain harmful chemicals. Second, you can make your own laundry detergent at home using simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. Finally, you can air out your laundry room after doing laundry to help ventilate the area and reduce your exposure to toxins (although this is not the best option, it's better than nothing).
What to Do if You Are Exposed to Toxins in Laundry Detergent
If you are exposed to toxins in laundry detergent(i.e. it spills on your skin), there are a few things that you can do to minimize the health risks. First, if you have any symptoms like difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately (on the way there, I love the aroma of R.C, or Breathe Again). Second, you should remove any clothing that has come into contact with the laundry detergent. Finally, you should wash any exposed skin, especially if it is irritated, with water, water, and more water. Be sure to get it all off. It can give you a chemical burn if it is not washed off right away.
Warning about laundry pods!
I would not recommend any of these, but if you do use them, keep them well out of the reach of children! Did you know they can cause death when ingested? Read this article from poison control.
When I was first learning about toxins in household cleaners, I often didn't want to look at the next one - because I knew if I knew the ingredients and what they did to my family, I would have to change. But whether I knew or not, they were harming us. I finally opened my eyes to everything and made the necessary changes to protect my family and I am still learning! Stick with me for this series to learn more and you will be so blessed! We have felt the effects and it is only good when you change to better products!
See part 2 for some specific ingredient discussion.
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