Are Your Clothes Toxic?

 Author Carla Janzen

Isn’t It Funny How Smell Evokes A Memory?

I remember that fresh air smell of clothes put out on the line outside to dry. That smell always evokes memories of my childhood and my Mother doing the laundry. I think many of us are emotionally attached to many smells and we want to re-create those scents that evoke happy memories.
We work so hard at looking good, smelling good along with feeling good. And we invest so much money and time in the process too!

Are You Washing Your Health Right Down The Drain?
I’m talking about your laundry, specifically those fabric softeners you may be using. They make your clothes feel soft and smell fresh.                                
DID YOU KNOW…Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products available. And chances are the staggering 99.8 percent of people who use common commercial detergents, fabric softeners, bleaches and stain removers would think twice if they knew they contained chemicals that could cause cancer and brain damage.

How Much Is Smelling Good Costing YOU?
I want to look and smell good just as much as the next person but when am I risking my health in the process?

My first child was born with Asthma and Allergies and keeping our environment healthy became a priority. The Asthma clinic advised me to stop using scented laundry products, dust frequently and have no carpets or pets in the home. My son required a ventilator 4 times daily and by following their advice we kept his home as healthy and safe as possible.

Are You Wrapping Your Family In Toxic Chemicals?
Here is a list of just some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets. (Taken from the Norwex Enviro Products Comprehensive Information Booklet by Sheri Gauthier and

  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
  • Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
  • Limonene: Known carcinogen
  • 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
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

These chemicals are so strong that they require the use of heavy fragrances just to cover up the smells. Fragrances like Ocean Mist, Summer Orchard and April Fresh.

Fabric Softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment.

Remember That REAL Fresh Air Smell?
I remember that fresh smell of laundry coming off the clothesline and it sure wasn’t full of chemicals. I don’t want my children to have happy memories evoked by toxic chemicals do you?

Carla Janzen has raised two children with asthma and allergies and knows her stuff. She will provide you with home safe answers even Martha doesn’t know about. 

Contact  Carla at ThatNorwexGirl Copyright© 2006

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1 thought on “Are Your Clothes Toxic?”

  1. I recently stopped using fabric softener sheets for my laundry. But I do use them to kill dust mites – spread them out on your stripped mattress for at least an hour – remove them and vacuum your mattress. Dead mites stink!!
    I am now using a “new” detergent – Fels Naptha, 20 Mule Team Borax and Washing Soda – mixed in a blender (cut up the bar soap first). 2 cups borax and 2 cups washing soda.
    My clothes are clean and don’t need softener at all!!

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