Do you use softeners to give a fresh scent to your laundry? Here are some truths about these products that may make you change your mind.
Many people use softeners because of their effectiveness. Indeed, these products contain surfactants that have the ability to smooth textile fibers and give the sensation of softness that seems nice. However, these products contain chemicals that constitute a danger to the health.
Softeners and allergies
These products contain allergens such as eugenol, isoeugenol, the Amyl Cinnamal or Benzyl cinnamate. The content of these compounds in these products can reach up to 50 mg/lbs, they can irritate the skin or the respiratory system and cause discomfort when the person tries to breathe. In addition, it is advisable to avoid softeners, especially for babies.
Furthermore, the Association of Consumers in France in 2005 has warned the consumers about the risk of allergies related to the use of fabric softeners.
Here is a list of chemicals in fabric softeners:
Alpha Terpineol: a neurotoxic compound that can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, loss of memory, a feeling of hunger and pain in the neck and spine. According to the University of Hertfordshire, despite the natural origin of this alcohol (pine essential oil) this compound still has a degree of toxicity which destroys the structure of cell membranes.
Benzyl alcohol: beside in softeners, benzyl alcohol is used in cleaning products, perfumes and other products such as varnishes, paints, etc. Typically, workers who use this substance should wear equipment to protect the skin and eyes. This alcohol is also present in the drugs, but in low doses. However, regular exposure can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. This alcohol can cause central nervous system disorders.
Benzyl acetate: several studies have indicated that this component might be linked to the development of cancerous tumors in the pancreas. Furthermore, inhalation of this product may cause eye irritation and respiratory problems.
Chloroform: this solvent is present in the form of volatile gas that can be easily absorbed through the skin and digestive system. Therefore, this component accumulates in the liver, brain and increases the risk of toxicity and cancer.
Linalool: some cautions against linalool date from 2009 because it is present in cosmetics and cleaning products. Furthermore, a study conducted at the University of Gothenburg has attempted to determine the relationship between linalool and allergies. They studied the cases of approximately 3000 patients to determine the cause of eczema. They found that between 5 and 7 percent of them were allergic to linalool oxide when exposed.
You can opt for natural products to soften the clothes such as white vinegar. This one has the ability to dissolve the lime in the water so that it is not deposited on fabrics to make them rough. Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice
In a glass jar, mix all ingredients and use your softener when you want. Do not worry, white vinegar leaves no odor in the washing machine, its antibacterial properties will even clean it.