Don’t you just love the smell of your clothes after they come out of the washer? Don’t they just release your stress from a full day of work and chores, relaxing you from spirit to soul to body? The moment you pull out your supposedly “clean” clothes from your dryer, the fresh mountain rain scent fills your entire laundry room and wraps around you ever so tightly that…it could be increasing your risk of developing diabetes and obesity!
Detergents contain toxic chemicals that disrupt your health slowly, and this has been an open secret for quite some time. Just to fill you in, detergent companies do not care to list out every single ingredient in the bottles that you lug home from grocery stores. Why would they be if there is no law that requires them to do so? If you feel nauseated whenever you smell fragrance from cleaning products, perhaps after reading the study below, you will now exactly why…
When people complained about feeling sick from smelling air fresheners and scented cleaning products, Anne Steinemann, a researcher/professor at the University of Washington, got curious and took a further step to conduct a study on these consumer goods. What surprised her was the potential toxicity of the chemicals that were lurking around in the products. Out of the 6 top-selling laundry products and air fresheners, up to 100 volatile organic compounds were emitted and none of them were listed on the label. What’s even more shocking is that, 5 out of the 6 products emitted one or more carcinogenic chemicals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these chemicals “have no safe exposure level”.
So, imagine that some of the worst offenders lurking in your detergent bottles and when you do your laundry with these detergents, they conveniently hide within the fibers of your clothes, using these fabrics as short cuts to get to your skin and your lungs directly. Not only are there carcinogenic ingredients, endocrine disruptors are also found to be added to the detergents. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals mimic, block, or interfere with the natural hormones in your system and negatively affect your nervous and immune systems.
Recently, the Endocrine Society released a conclusion on endocrine-disrupting chemicals…endocrine disruptors are tied to the two of the biggest public health threats, which are diabetes and obesity:
“More than 1/3 of the adults in the USA are obese”
“Approximately 28 million people in the USA are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 1 out of 3 people with this disease is not even aware of it”
You probably know quite a few people who are diabetic, and many obese, but have you ever wonder why it is so common nowadays? Of course the causes of these two conditions could be genetics or could be due to lifestyle and habits, but since cleaning products are so unregulated (click here to see a list of toxic cleaners), there could indeed be a subtle link there.
Now guess where the waste water in your washing machine along with the toxic detergents goes? Into the country’s rivers and streams! Currently, more than half of the USA’s rivers and streams are in poor condition and they cannot even support healthy populations of creatures. We are amongst the affected creatures because rivers and streams are our water source.
So eliminate your use of scented products! Find some natural alternatives, for example, by using vinegar and baking soda:
Baking Soda: Add ½ cup of baking soda in top-loading machines, or ¼ cup for front-loading machines. Vinegar: Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle.
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"Diabetes Pictures: Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments." WebMD. N.p., 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
"8 Ways to Boost Laundry Detergent." Readers Digest. N.p., 09 Mar. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
"Endocrine Disruptors." Your Environment. Your Health. NIH, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
"EPA Report: More than Half Nation's Rivers in Poor Shape." The Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
Hickey, Hannah. "Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners." UW Today. N.p., 23 July 2008. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
"2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 May 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.
"Your Laundry Detergent May Contain Toxic Ingredients." Mercola.com. N.p., 21 Dec. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.