Thursday, June 21, 2012

Greener Cleaner | Natural Laundry Detergent -

Greener Cleaner | Natural Laundry Detergent -

Here are just some of the toxins and potential carcinogens found in typical
detergent …
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – Chemical foaming agent known as a surfactant. Studies have linked use of this chemical to a variety of health issues from skin irritation to organ toxicity to even cancer.
Dioxane (1,4-dioxane) – The majority of top laundry detergent brands contain this synthetic petrochemical known as a carcinogen. This is a by-product contaminant of the manufacturing process and is not required to be listed on product labels.
Linear Alky Benzene Sulfonates (LAS) – Synthetic petrochemicals that biodegrade slowly making them an environmental hazard. Benzene may cause cancer in humans and animals.
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE) – Petrochemical surfactant banned in the EU and Canada. May cause liver and kidney damage. Biodegradable, but biodegrades into more toxic substances.
Petroleum distillates (aka napthas) – Derived from synthetic crude oil, linked to cancer, lung and mucous membrane damage.
Phenols – Can cause toxicity throughout the entire body.
Optical brighteners – Can be toxic to fish and cause allergic reactions in humans.
Artificial fragrances – Linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals, and can cause allergies, skin and eye irritation to humans.
Phosphates – Used to prevent dirt from settling back into clothes after being washed. Can stimulate growth of marine plants that trigger unbalanced ecosystems.
Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) – Group of compounds used as an alternative to phosphates. Found to cause reproductive and developmental effects in lab animals and does not readily biodegrade.
Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach) – Chemical precursor to chlorine, which is extremely toxic. Skin contact can produce caustic irritation or burns. Mixing with other cleaning products can create hazardous and sometimes carcinogenic fumes.

These are just some of the toxic and potential cancer-causing chemicals found in typical laundry detergents that can not only cause you harm, but raise havoc in the environment as well. These harsh chemicals can build up in your clothes and eventually penetrate your skin.

Detergent makers are not required by law to list these ingredients.

Well, I’m going to focus on four of the most toxic detergent chemicals… so you can keep a closer eye out for them and learn how to best avoid them altogether. I consider the four worst offenders in laundry detergent to be sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), 1,4-dioxane, nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), and phosphates.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Anything But Natural!

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of industrial cleaners and cosmetic products.

SLS is pervasive in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, and yes… laundry detergents.


Because SLS is a very inexpensive foaming agent.

Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural.

SLS is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate and is classified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Cosmetics Database as a "denaturant, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer," rated "moderate hazard."

Similar to SLS is sodium laureth sulfate (short for sodium lauryl ether sulfate, or SLES), a yellow detergent with higher foaming ability. SLES is considered to be slightly less irritating than SLS.

One of the most confusing and deceptive issues with SLS is how it goes by many other names, including…
Sodium dodecyl sulfate
Sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt
Sodium salt sulfuric acid

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