We think that eco cleaning products are great but dryer sheets are downright U-G-L-Y! Dryer sheets are one of the common items found in laundry rooms, but they definitely are NOT one of the most eco friendly cleaning products!
Dryer sheets are typically used to reduce the amount of static electricity in our clothes, make our clothes smell good, and are marketed to soften the clothes as well. Doing the research for this post, I find that there seems to be two dryer sheet camps: avid users of dryer sheets using them for every single load, while others “never” use them.
For the group that uses dryer sheets, Buyer Beware! Besides the fact that they cannot be classified as one of your eco cleaning products, they do not contribute to your sustainable practices. The “sheet” is polyester, not biodegradable so they only add volume to the landfills.
Additionally, the chemicals in the dryer sheets are extremely toxic. Ideally, eco cleaning products are not harmful to the health of babies, kids, pets and others. Unfortunately, the chemicals impregnated into the dryer sheet have been found to cause liver toxicity, nervous system damage and cancer in mammals. In fact, many are registered as EPA toxins. Furthermore, many chemicals in dryer sheets are listed as known carcinogens.
Anyone who has used dryer sheets, or even laundry detergent with a fragrance, has actually coated their clothing with a thin layer of toxic chemicals. Many do not think about it or
assume that chemicals put on our skin do not penetrate the skin. Sadly this is a myth. Nearly every chemical that touches the skin finds its way into the body and even worse, into the bloodstream. The toxic chemical residue left on clothing then is being rubbed their skin all day long. Just think about it, these toxic chemicals would not be approved as safe food ingredients due to their toxicity so why would you want them to be rubbing on your skin, the largest organ of your body?
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Chemical absorption only increases with heat and moisture. The wetter your body becomes, the more easily the chemicals can move from clothing into your skin so the toxic effect is further compounded when you perspire. Since many of these chemical compounds are by themselves solvents, they are rather good at moving through cellular membranes and entering tissues of the body, including nervous system tissues. This dangerous health impact is certainly not what one is anticipating when selecting their eco cleaning products.
This is why intelligent consumers who are seeking eco cleaning products and who wish to protect the health of those they love will avoid dryer sheets and laundry detergents with fragrances and buy green cleaning products!