Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dying Softly - Dangers of Fabric Softener

The facts on fabric softeners are undeniable, yet millions of people still use this dangerous product. 

Some people are simply ignorant, they have no idea about the harmful chemicals they're exposing themselves to. Other people ignore the danger saying, "I want my clothes to be soft." 

It breaks my heart to think anyone would chose "soft" clothes over protecting their families' health from carcinogens and toxins.

Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones who suffer from this unhealthy choice. 
- I feel the effects of my neighbor's fabric softener almost daily as it flows from her dryer vent through our front and back yards. 
- Children who have no idea of the dangers are wearing toxic clothes faithfully laundered with fabric softener. 
- People who work in hospitality industries are exposed to these toxic products daily. 

So if fabric softener is so dangerous, why is it still sold everywhere? Where is regulation, you ask? I can't answer why so many toxic products are still approved for sale, but I can assure you that the research has been done and the facts are clear. 

Fabric softener contains known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), respiratory irritants, toxins that cause nervous system disorders, as well as substances that are listed on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. 

For more details, here's an excellent article by Jordan Rubin highlighting only 9 of the dangerous chemicals found in fabric softener. 

Fabric softener is a toxic cocktail that becomes even more dangerous when heated, and which is made to last a VERY long time. It absorbs into the skin (through clothes and bedding) and wreaks all kinds of havoc in the body. 

There are a lot of unavoidable toxins in our environment. Let's not add anything unnecessarily to that load. Let's keep spreading the word so that more people can make healthy choices instead of dying softly.

I hope by now I've either convinced you to avoid this harmful product, or inspired you to share the facts with others you know who still use fabric softener. 

One of my friends said that after quitting fabric softener, her asthma improved dramatically! Do you have a testimony or success story you can share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments! 

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