The detergent you’re using may contain hidden cancer-causing chemicals. These include Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), 1,4-dioxane, NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate, and Phosphates. Many laundry detergent labels state “Free of dyes and perfumes” – which doesn’t mean it’s a natural product and free of carcinogens. Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national environmental group had commissioned independent tests on popular cleaning products. The tests revealed that many of the products had chemicals linked to reproductive and endocrine disruption, and cancer. What makes it shocking is the fact that these chemicals are absent from product labels. According to the Organic Consumers Association’s 1,4-Dioxane Facts Sheet, the cumulative effects of 1,4-dioxane exposure, even at very low levels (a few parts per billion) resulted in laboratory animals developing cancer. The U.S. federal regulation systems consider dioxane’s potency to be equivalent to or greater than many pesticides considered dangerous to humans.
Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in commercial laundry detergents:
Phenols: According to the United States National Institutes of Health, phenol is toxic and can cause damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver. Plus, it is rapidly absorbed and can cause toxicity throughout the entire body.
Optical brighteners: Most laundry detergents contain optical brighteners, which are chemicals that trick your sensory perception. Optical brighteners can contain anything from benzene to disulfonic acid which are believed to be extremely toxic. They are synthesized from 400 different types of chemicals.
People with sensitive skin often experience irritation and develop skin rashes from optical brighteners.
Bleach: Chlorine Bleach is a strong corrosive material. It will irritate the eyes, skin and the respiratory tract by just inhaling the gasses. When this happens a poisonous gas is released that can cause bloody noses, neurological disorders, headaches and even death. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found dioxin (a toxic byproduct of chlorine) to be 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT.
Surfactants: A surfactant is a substance that binds dirt to oily particles and carries them away with water during washing. One type of surfactant used in conventional laundry detergents is nonyl phenol ethoxylate, a chemical that has been found to encourage the growth of breast cancer cells and has been banned in Europe.
Fragrance: Laundry detergents contain synthetic fragrances, even when advertised as “fragrance-free.” These are linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals, and can cause allergies, skin and eye irritation to humans.
If you want to avoid these toxic cancer causing chemicals, try making your own laundry detergent. You can also purchase NaturOli Soap Nuts. Soap nuts are dried shells of the soapberry. They contain saponin which is a cleaning agent that works like soap and detergent, minus the chemicals – it’s 100% natural.