Friday, February 6, 2009

Fabric Softeners May Reduce Static Cling, But Who Cares If It Also Might Kill You

That's a harsh title for this post isn't it? Well, after reading an article from, it seems like an appropriate one. According to the article, fabric softener sheets contain chemicals that after prolonged periods of exposure, may cause cancer and other disorders. Here's the exact details from

According to the health and wellness website, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others.

Since fabric softeners are designed to stay in your clothes for extended periods of time, such chemicals can seep out gradually and be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin. Liquid fabric softeners are slightly preferable to dryer sheets, as the chemicals in dryer sheets get released into the air when they are heated up in the dryer and can pose a respiratory health risk to those both inside and outside the home.
The article goes on to give some suggestions for alternatives to regular fabric softeners:

Another safer option is Maddocks’ Static Eliminator, a non-toxic, hypoallergenic reusable dryer sheet made out of a proprietary, chemical-free polynylon. The Canadian company Maddocks originally developed the material to rid industrial-scale mechanical systems of explosion-inducing static electricity, but soon realized that it could benefit consumers as well, who can now buy the sheets – each one is good for some 500 wash loads – from natural foods retailers as well as from several online vendors.
Go here to read the complete article.

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