Since the invention of detergent, the industry focus has been on what best removes stains and brightens colors, leading to the increase of synthetic cleaners, chemicals, and brighteners, and fragrances that can be found in almost all laundry detergent today. Meanwhile, the idea that clean clothing should be free of toxic chemicals and bacteria has been ignored, and the idea that these detergent chemicals are harmful to our health has not been effectively addressed.
What is the history of laundry detergent? Laundry detergent, as we know it, has been around since the time of WWII. Before then, people would wash their clothes using soap flakes. However, these soap flakes would leave a nasty ring in the washtub, and clothes came out dingy and dull. Set out to find a better way, researchers started finding other options for cleaning clothes and quickly discovered synthetic surfactants, which can remove dirt and grease from clothing and suspend them in the air so that they cannot reattach to the fibers. From this discovery came the modern laundry detergent formula.
So what is in today’s laundry detergents? Let’s go over the top 4 toxic ingredients that can be found in almost all detergents:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): SLS actually damages your skin by stripping it of protective oils and moisture. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews, research studies on SLS have shown links to:
- Irritation of the skin and eyes
- Organ toxicity
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Nerotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
- Possible mutations and cancer
- 1,4 Dioxane: Dioxane is a byproduct of an industrial process used to make cleaning ingredients. It is considered by the state of California to cause cancer and has been found by the CDC to be potentially toxic to your brain and central nervous system, kidneys, liver , and respiratory system. The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirms that dioxane is “reasonably expected to be a human carcinogen” based on the research to day, and even trace amounts bring cause for concern.
- NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate): NPE is an endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimicker that can potentially cause hormonal problems, or even cancer. When you absorb NPE, your body can’t tell the difference between NPE and estrogen. Organisms exposed to NPE show kidney and liver damage, decreased testicular growth and sperm count, disrupted growth and metabolism, and increased mortality.
- Artificial fragrances: Artificial fragrances found in laundry detergent are made up from a combination of manufactured chemical compounds. Fragrance makers use more than 5,000 different ingredients. Of these, only about 1,300 fragrance ingredients have actually been tested and evaluated. These chemicals, which include fragrances, cause a variety of negative reactions, including: exhaustion, weakness, “hay fever” symptoms, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, headaches, rashes, swollen lymph glands, muscle aches and spasms, heart palpitations, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, asthma attacks (inability to breathe), neuromotor dysfunction, seizures, and even loss of consciousness. Babies and children are even more vulnerable to these negative health reactions than are adults. The elderly and people trying to recover from cancer and other serious illnesses are particularly at risk when exposed.
Our skin is the largest organ of the body. Chemicals that are exposed to skin absorb directly into the blood stream. A good rule for protecting your body from these chemicals is by deciding that if you wouldn’t eat or drink it, you won’t expose it to your skin either.
What about Eco-Friendly Detergent? The rise of eco-friendly detergents has attempted to provide a healthier solution. Unfortunately, some of these detergents are being exposed for deceptively listing their ingredients, which include SLS among other chemicals. One example is Jessica Alba’s Honest Company. Additionally, the eco-friendly detergents lack in their ability to kill germs and bacteria, especially those that wash using cold water.
So what is the solution to a healthy laundry? pureWash Pro is the solution that truly offers a laundry FREE from chemicals while still providing clean clothes. pureWash Pro is the natural way to thoroughly eliminate odors, bacteria, germs, and organic stains from your clothing. The power of ozone is nature’s way of disinfecting and sanitizing, and it’s now available for your laundry through pureWash Pro.