Saving the Planet


In 2008 Scientist reported on the toxic chemicals in household cleaning products, laundry detergents & laundry softeners.

You shouldn’t have to suffer asthma, sinus problems, eczema or dermatitis just to have  a clean house or clean clothes.
Let’s look at the study. Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry, household cleaning products and air freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them had at least one chemical identified as a toxic or hazardous under federal law.
Among the products tested were a household cleaning product, a fabric softener and a laundry detergent, as well as a spray and plug-in air fresheners.

Results showed nearly 100 volatile inorganic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products. Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level, said author Anne Steinemann.

That’s not all. A later 2011 study found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.
For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products and once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.
An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VCOs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene. “These products can affect not only personal health” said Steinemann “but also public an environmental health. The chemicals can go in to the air, down the drain and into water bodies.



Let’s look more closely at what manufacturers are putting into Household cleaning products & Laundry detergents that may not be good for our health & environment.

  • Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES):

    Here are top 10 reasons why should not use anything containing it:

    1. It is a known skin irritant. When cosmetic companies need to test the healing properties of a lotion they need to irritate the skin. What do they use to do this ? SLS, of course. If you have dandruff, dermatitis, cancer sores or other irritated tissues of skin, it could be due to SLS.
    2. It Pollutes our groundwater. It is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and has the potential for bio-accumulation (meaning it accumulates in the bodies of the fish) it also undetected in many municipal water filters, getting in to the water that you drink.
    3. It is actually a pesticide and herbicide. It is commonly used to kill plants and insects. makers of SLS recently petitioned to have SLS listed as an approved pesticide for organic farming. The application was denied because of polluting properties and environment damage.
    4. It emits toxic fumes when heated. Toxic Sodium Oxides and Sulphur Oxides are released when SLS is heated.
    1. It has corrosive properties. This includes corrosion of the fats & proteins that make up skin and muscles. SLS can be found in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash soaps.
    1. Long-term permeation of the body’s tissues. A study from the University of Georgia Medicine showed that SLS had the power to penetrate the eyes, brain, heart & liver of humans & animals.
    1. It’s eye irritant. It was shown to cause cataracts in adults, and is proven to inhibit the proper formation of eyes in small children.
    1. Nitrate and other solvent contamination. Toxic solvents, including carcinogenic nitrates are used in the manufacturing of SLS, traces of which can remain in the product.
    1. Manufacturing process is highly polluting. Emitting cancer-causing volatile organic compounds and air particles.
    1. It helps other chemicals get into your body. SLS is a penetration enhancer, meaning that its molecules are so small they are able to cross the membrane of your body’s cells. Once cells are compromised they become more vulnerable to other toxic chemicals.


  • Fragance: This is one of the main problems, and the focus of the two studies
  • above. Manufacturers combine a number of chemicals to produce a fragrance- so you’ll believe your house and clothes are clean because they smell clean.


  • Stabilizers:These chemicals help stabilize the formulas, so that it lasts longer on the shelf. Examples include polyalkylene oxide or ethylene oxide, which are linked with eye and lung irritation, and even dermatitis.

  • Bleach: Bleach maybe used separately or maybe included in the detergent itself. It’s known to irritate skin, eyes and lungs , and when it mixes with wastewater , it can form toxic organic compounds that have been linked with respiratory issues , liver and kidney damage.

  • Brighteners: You will find these in detergents advertising their brightening powers. Brighter whites! Brighter colors!  What’s creating all this Brightness? Chemicals that actually remain on the clothes to absorb UV light and help clothes “appear” brighter . We are talking things like naphthotriazolystilbenes (linked with developmental and reproductive effects) benzoxazolyl, diaminostilbene disulfonate , and more. Since these remain on the clothes, they are likely to come in contact with your skin.

  • Phosphates & EDTA: Manufactures use these to make detergents more effective in hard water , and to help prevent dirt from setting back on clothes when they’re washing. These chemicals have long been associated with environmental damage, particularly in our streams and waterways. They cause algae blooms that damage ecosystems. Many detergents have eliminated these, but they’re often using ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) in its place, which does not readily biodegrade and has been found to be toxic in animal studies.