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Are Soft Clothes Worth It?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on September 20, 2012

Do you use fabric softener or dryer sheets?  If so, perhaps you are not aware that they are among the most toxic products around today. You can read what Science Daily says about the University of Washington study done on these products.

Some of the typical chemicals found in them include:
•    Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
•    Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
•    A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
•    Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
•    Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
•    Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
•    Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

The chemicals in fabric softeners smell so strong that they require the use of heavy fragrances just to cover up the smells. Then we heat them up too either in the dryer or on our bodies which then release the chemicals into the air both inside and outside our homes.

There are alternatives.  I purchased cloth dryer sheets at the local Environment Network shop and use them over and over again. They don’t eliminate ALL of the static but certainly enough that it is worth it for us. You can also try adding a quarter of a cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric and a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling.

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