We have all seen the dryer sheet commercials where there is a young lady who is wrapped in a fluffy white blanket that’s sipping a warm cup of tea and smelling the “fresh” scent of her newly washed blanket. She’s smiling and then transforms into a meadow full of flowers and sunshine. This isn’t reality.
Did you know that dryer sheets are one of the most toxic things you can use in your home? They are full of synthetic fragrances and other chemicals that can cause reproductive issues, hormone disruption and cancer. These aren’t something to mess around with!
What chemicals can you find in your dryer sheets?
Since companies are not required to list the ingredients they put in dryers sheets, it’s hard to tell what all is in there. These are just a few that we know of.
- Fragrances – These are the worst chemicals out there! In my article, Your Looks are Killing You, I claim that you should “Run far away from anything containing fragrances! When you see “fragrance” on a label this can include a number of chemicals (3,000 different ones)! By using fragrances you are at risk for allergies to smells, neurotoxic effects, cancer, and more (since fragrance range from formaldehyde to toluene you can’t be sure what it will cause…).”
- Benzyl Acetate – This chemical can cause headaches, vomiting, and central nervous system depression. It has also been linked to pancreatic cancer.
- Chloroform – This is a toxic gas that is a neurotoxin and is a known carcinogen. It is also on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
- Pentane – This causes the usual headaches, vomiting, and dizziness as well as loss of consciousness and central nervous system depression.
- Camphor – this one is also on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. It is a Central Nervous System stimulant, can cause confusion, nausea, and twitching muscles.
Scientific American states that “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.”
They also stay on the clothes and you breathe them in all day long. The toxins are also released into the air in your home creating toxic air that your whole family is breathing in.
An alternative? Many people recommend adding a quarter cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle to help soften your clothes naturally! The vinegar smell will not stay on your clothes. I have been using vinegar to wash my clothes for awhile now!
Young Living also has all natural baby wipes that you can use as dryer sheets! All you have to do is rip one in half and throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes. Sweet!! This way you are not missing out on the fresh scent on your clothes.
One Last Thing To Consider
Dr. Axe makes these last few points to consider before throwing a dryer sheet in with your clothes.
- “Dryer sheets are among the worst offenders for harboring chemicals linked to hormone disruption and asthma.
- More than 12 percent of the U.S. population reported negative health symptoms associated with dryer vent emissions.
- Many dryer sheets contain chemicals that react with the air to create formaldehyde, a probable human carcinogen.
- Other common dryer sheet pollutants include acetaldehyde and benzene, things also found in vehicle exhaust that are not considered safe at any level.”