Laundry was once done by hand, using natural cleaners commonly found in your back yard, but today it’s an industrial production involving not only advanced electronics and motors, but also a huge array of chemical additives that are very commonly used in homes around the world. Although healthy and “eco” smart alternatives are becoming big sellers, it’s happening slowly. People just don’t think about how all that powder gets caught in the fabric of your clothes and is directly sprinkled onto your skin over time. Your clothes are effectively SPONGES carrying all those industrial strength detergents (and worse!) around town, pressed against your skin. Remember skin is the largest organ of the body, and things are absolutely absorbed into your skin. In a big way.
Then at the end of the production is the dryer exhaust, which does contain carbon monoxide, which is a very dangerous odorless gas, which also comes out of your car’s exhaust pipe so this is very bad if you are in an enclosed space with dryer exhaust pumping in. On top of that you have detergents and fabric softeners and there is where it gets really murky and absolutely toxic gas.
You are not exposed to a couple chemicals here, you are exposed to a LONG list of toxic chemicals. Way more than one or two, and the worst part is that NO studies have ever been done on these various chemical cocktails that are without question being pumped out into the dryer exhaust that is basically a chemical shitstorm by any estimation or measurement.
People can be a little bit careless about ducting and pump it back into their own house or blast a neighbor unwittingly with huge clouds of highly toxic gas on a regular basis. Large apartment buildings and laundromats are toxic smokestacks basically. Except they usually don’t go to the trouble of making a tall smokestack to spare the neighbors. Even a small apartment building with a laundry room can easily produce a toxic blast of exhaust if the tenants are using mainstream toxic laundry products. These include: mainstream laundry detergents, fabric softeners (REALLY scary stuff) and dryer sheets. Sadly, a VAST majority of people nowadays are just completely unaware of the health hazards involved with mainstream laundry products.
So back to dryer exhaust:
“The investigators identified a total of 29 unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the dryer-vent emissions. Ten VOCs identified in the headspace analyses also appeared in the emissions when laundry products were used. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies seven of the VOCs found in dryer-vent emissions—acetaldehyde, benzene, ethylbenzene, methanol, m/p-xylene, o-xylene, and toluene—as hazardous air pollutants.10 The EPA considers acetaldehyde a probable human carcinogen11 and benzene (found in two dryer-vent emission samples) a known human carcinogen.12”
One thing you can do is choose healthy detergents and fabric softeners, which can be easily found at Trader Joes or Sprouts or just about any health food store. Invest in your health, and the health of your neighbors. You can also pick some up right here with the links below. It’s a massive upgrade, still be sure your vents are exhausting in a clever way to prevent killing yourself and/or your neighbors with a toxic gas bomb over time.
At this point in the 21st Century, there are a VAST array of healthy alternatives for just about everything, including laundry products. If you’re still using toxic mainstream laundry products, it’s time to upgrade. All those “detergents” with toxic “fragrance” added, are REALLY bad news. That stuff gets STUCK in your fabric, in all the pours of your clothes, towels and sheets and just rubs off into your skin. It turns your clothes into a toxic delivery system that absolutely leads to very serious health issues over time. The thing is, nowadays, there are a LOT of healthy alternatives to those nightmarish laundry products that have just been accepted and never questioned for so many years by so many people.
Some healthy cleaners are presented below, but these are just a FEW of the options available today. You can also look into making your OWN soups and cleaners at home and save a ton of money. I want to explore that as well soon as I can.
Some healthy dryer sheets:
Some books on the subject and some solutions: