Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vindicated. Finally. Thanks to Fox.

I can't believe I'm quoting Fox. But I am. And I'm passing on the information because I think it's good, really good. I've been fighting a losing battle with my kids to rid the house of scented stuff for years. Scented candles; horrible smelling laundry detergents (I rue the day the kids started buying their own products to do their laundry.); fabric softeners (Forbidden - why on earth would one need a "fabric softener"? Is it like needing a Salton Bun Warmer or an electric knife? Or maybe it's like the broom that Poe brought home recently, unknowingly, fully equipped with an "air freshener" tucked into it's side.)

Fight no more. I've got science and Fox on my side. Vindicated. Phew. Take a look!

'Fresh Scent' Detergents and Air Fresheners Could be Toxic, Study Says
Thursday , July 24, 2008, Fox News

Your favorite laundry products and air fresheners could be emitting a lot more than just a ‘fresh scent’, according to a University of Washington study.

Researchers analyzed a range of top-selling products from plug-in oils to dryer sheets, fabric softeners and detergents. What they found was that all of them contained dozens of different chemicals. In fact, researchers said all six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws.

"I was surprised by both the number and the potential toxicity of the chemicals that were found," said Anne Steinemann, a University of Washington professor, in a news release. “Chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and nail-polish remover; limonene, a molecule with a citrus scent; and acetaldehyde, chloromethane and 1, 4-dioxane.”

In the laboratory, each product was placed in an isolated space at room temperature and the surrounding air was analyzed for chemicals.

Results showed 58 different volatile organic compounds above a concentration of 300 micrograms per cubic meter. For example, a plug-in air freshener contained more than 20 different volatile organic compounds. Of these, seven are regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws.

Steinemann had this advice for consumers.

"Be careful if you buy products with fragrance, because you really don't know what's in them," she said. "I'd like to see better labeling. In the meantime, I'd recommend that instead of air fresheners people use ventilation, and with laundry products, choose fragrance-free versions."

The study is published online by the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.


sharryb said...

I will definitely show this to my husband, Sam. He's been on a rant about this for years.

Lydia said...

I've been on the rant about this for years too! I especially hate the scented dryer strips and my personal opinion is that they are, in part, responsible for colony collapse, or "bye-bye honeybees." Don't you think that anything that flies through the air in search of flowers to pollinate would become completely disoriented if the air is heavy with fake perfumey blasts coming from numerous side-by-side houses?
This was a good post and I'm going to look up that journal article.

Judith Shapiro said...

glad to hear from you sharry and lydia. pass it on!

Naomi said...

what great information. i'm also going to the link you provided. and will post something in the laundry room of the apartment building where i live. between the scented soap and dryer things, this is a big problem. thanks!

knotted shoulder said...

I'm no old timer, but I read an article online about all the uses for Bounce laundry sheets (I personally love the smell). It said it repells bees. Then I heard of all the bee dissappearances that are going on outside our doorstep. I thought maybe there's a connection. Then today, when I was doing laundry, I found a bee barely coherent on my sidewalk. Strange.