Attack of the killer clothes dryer

From the University of Washington  comes news of a terrible scourge of air pollution coming from America’s suburban wasteland. Yes, it’s the unregulated clothes dryer vent. I see a whole new division of the EPA just for this major threat and compliance teams confiscating fabric softener sheets with that cute little bear on the box and boxes of Cheer nationwide.

Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents

The same University of Washington researcher who used chemical sleuthing to deduce what’s in fragranced consumer products now has turned her attention to the scented air wafting from household laundry vents.

Findings, published online this week in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, show that air vented from machines using the top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheet contains hazardous chemicals, including two that are classified as carcinogens.

“This is an interesting source of pollution because emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated and unmonitored,” said lead author Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and of public affairs. “If they’re coming out of a smokestack or tail pipe, they’re regulated, but if they’re coming out of a dryer vent, they’re not.”

The research builds on earlier work that looked at what chemicals are released by laundry products, air fresheners, cleaners, lotions and other fragranced consumer products. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients used in fragrances, or in laundry products.

For the new study, which focuses on chemicals emitted through laundry vents, researchers first purchased and pre-rinsed new, organic cotton towels. They asked two homeowners to volunteer their washers and dryers, cleaned the inside of the machines with vinegar, and ran full cycles using only water to eliminate as much residue as possible.

At the first home, they ran a regular laundry cycle and analyzed the vent fumes for three cases: once with no products, once with the leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and finally with both the detergent and a leading brand of scented dryer sheets. A canister placed inside the dryer vent opening captured the exhaust 15 minutes into each drying cycle. Researchers then repeated the procedure with a different washer and dryer at a second home.

Analysis of the captured gases found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals – acetaldehyde and benzene – are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.

“These products can affect not only personal health, but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies,” Steinemann said.

The researchers estimate that in the Seattle area, where the study was conducted, acetaldehyde emissions from this brand of laundry detergent would be equivalent to 3 percent of the total acetaldehyde emissions coming from automobiles. Emissions from the top five brands, they estimate, would constitute about 6 percent of automobiles’ acetaldehyde emissions.

“We focus a lot of attention on how to reduce emissions of pollutants from automobiles,” Steinemann said. “And here’s one source of pollutants that could be reduced.”

###

The project’s website also includes letters from the public reporting health effects from scented consumer products. Steinemann says that people’s reports of adverse reactions to fragranced air coming from laundry vents motivated her to conduct this study.

Steinemann recommends using laundry products without any fragrance or scent.

Co-authors are Lisa Gallagher and Amy Davis at the UW, and Ian MacGregor at Battelle Memorial Institute.

 

For more information, contact Steinemann at acstein@uw.edu. She is best reached via email.

More information about the research, including a copy of the article, is at http://depts.washington.edu/exposure/

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64 thoughts on “Attack of the killer clothes dryer

  1. Not to worry. ‘Global Warming’ has this covered. Clothes driers are an unacceptable use of household energy (most of which is generated by burning carbon based fuels) and can simply be banned to save the polar bears. Just like light bulbs.

  2. New green industry: Catalytic converters for your dryer vent. Of all the unbridaled demonstrations of “too much time on one’s hands”…..

    People’s reports about adverse reactions???? WTF??? They must have been lining up!

  3. God help us all.

    A hundred years from now, little children in China will be told to clean their plates with the admonition, “Think of all the starving children in America.”

  4. It’s amazing we’ve all lived so long, isn’t it?

    You’d think the average lifespan in this country was dropping rapidly. Somehow, with the junk food we eat, the mercury in the air and drinking water, chemicals in our homes, transfats, saturated fats, HFCS, etc., etc., not to mention our non-government run healthcare system, we keep living longer and longer.

    I wonder what’s wrong? Do we need a computer model, or do we need to adjust the data?

  5. “… The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies …”

    But do they? And in what concentration? What is the LD50 (or equivalent for carcinogens) for the compounds? For example, what is the concentration in ppm or ppb at 10m from the vent? 20m? 50? Compared to the exposure shown in controlled laboratory experiments to lead to x% increase in the probability of developing cancer of type A, B, or C over time t?

    Careful methodology, limited data set, not controlled for variation in machines, no tie in to health effects, etc. In other words, is there any real science in this study? (I read the paper, didn’t see it. Maybe I missed it and someone else will spot it.)

  6. We need scrubbers on clothes lines, so people who don’t use dryers in an effort to avoid dryer vent regulations can’t pollute.

    Don’t let the aliens smell our drying clothes!!

  7. I wonder what chemicals are being emitted from the Anne Steinemann’s deodorant, hair spray, shampoo and conditioner, perfume? Lets analyze those while we are at it. Personally I like the fragrance of a clothes dryer exhaust, much more than many of the perfumes and colognes wornby people today.

    Maybe next she should look at all the air freshener sprays, the glade plug-ins, pot-pourri and scented candels? My guess it there are alot of other sources of pollution there they can use to control – err I mean protect the public.

  8. Did they test the air going into the dryer first?

    Maybe they should test the air coming from flowering plants, bet there’s loads of natural toxins there too! For example:

    From Wikipedia:
    ‘Acetaldehyde occurs naturally in coffee, bread, and ripe fruit, and is produced by plants as part of their normal metabolism. It is also produced by oxidation of ethanol and is popularly believed to be a cause of hangovers…’

    Now this research, if you can call it that, is out, no doubt we will hear of thousands of people suffering from deadly dryer-syndrome.

    Meanwhile I’m going back to drinking my coffee, with acetaldehyde et al…

  9. This may sound humorous and frivolous, but a friend of mine has chemical sensitivity and is strongly affected by these emissions from clothes driers. They cause him to quickly develop symptoms like those of Tourette’s syndrome and the muscles of his left side become almost crippled. He is affected for several hours afterward. Those fabric softeners are a definite hazard to him and the effect on him makes one wonder if the rest of us are also being affected, just to a lesser degree. Is it only coincidence that the incidence of asthma has increased in recent decades?

    IanM

  10. And people wear clothes washed in this sh*t. I don’t understand it. I mean everyone’s gonna die, but dying from industrial perfume-induced cancer is pretty stupid.

    If I’m in the same room as scented detergent or dryer sheets or any other petroleum-derived perfume, I immediately get a headache that doesn’t go away for hours. Alcohol-based perfumes aren’t an issue.

    This ubiquitous exposure to nasty chemicals for no good reason is one of my pet peeves. The others are small engines that really ought to be electric – your lawn mower causes more cancer and smog than your car, even if it is a four stroke – and giant 1 passenger trucks imperiling everyone else on the road in the name of safety – if you’re so scared of the road, take the bus.

  11. Never did like all those added fragrances and softeners anyway . . . :) Different people definitely have different sensitivities to these chemicals. I don’t know that it is worth regulating, but on a very local (household) level it is certainly the case that some people are better off without them.

  12. From the first few comments, it is apparent that people think it is normal to add these over-scented washing and softening chemicals to their washing. I can’t stand the ghastly sickly smell of them and use as plain a detergent as I can find, with no softener, and I use a dryer only when the weather is too bad to hang the washing outside on a line. I bet our power bill is rather lower than those who assume there is no other way but to use a tumble-dryer!

  13. My daughter gets a rash from scented detergents and softeners, so we use no softeners and unscented detergents (when in France on holiday we found a very subtly scented detergent which was very good, but where we live the choice is between way too much or nothing at all). But the best scent you can get is the scent you get when clothes are dried in the old fashioned way in fresh air!

  14. In defense of the study, I’ll say it is a type of study that could be good to do. In this case it doesn’t seem to have turned up anything particularly dangerous. However, there have been similar styles of studies that have turned up significant dangers from unlikely spots.

    Lead in paint is one of them. I’m old enough to remember when it was first discovered that lead in paint could be ingested to reach harmful levels. I remember a lot of scoffing about what a stupid study it was, how it was useless, and so on.

    Today we recognize that it was a significant health threat. This drier study didn’t turn up anything (though it may be the basis for some sort of action anyway – never underestimate the desire of governments to create bureaucracy at the slightest excuse!) but let’s not toss out scientific investigation into what seems to be odd-ball things.

    There have been some great discoveries by looking into silly, odd-ball topics.

  15. So if clothes get dry naturally, those harmful fragrances will stay in?
    3% of automobile emissions.. add the industry, natural sources and you are fighting over nothing.

  16. It seems that some of the latest comments before mine are on similar lines.

    There are far too many sickly over-scented items around and I feel nauseous when I’m in the part of a supermarket that contains them. I also feel sick when I have to walk into my other half’s study after he has been interviewing people who go for aggressive modern perfumes, both men and women. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that they are polluting my home environment. Yuk! Whatever is it doing to their health too?

  17. See it didn’t take long did it to get to the extreme of ‘we are all going to die horrible deaths because of clothes dryer smells,’ no wonder the warmistas have an easy ride!

    There will be and always have been people with allergic reactions to life in general, do the rest of us have to have our lives regulated into a miserable greyness because of it? Ban the peanut, ban cats and dogs, ban pollen, ban dust, ban deodorants, ban gluten, ban Al Gore (well he really is irritating) ban…..

  18. “I wonder what chemicals are being emitted from the Anne Steinemann’s deodorant, hair spray, shampoo and conditioner, perfume? ”

    Betcha $10 she doesn’t use any of those things. Betcha another $10 she “suffers” from “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” and enjoys making life miserable for any real woman who dares to enter her presence. You can smell it in her vocabulary.

  19. “the agency [EPA] has established no safe exposure level”, but they occur naturally?

    “Acetaldehyde has a widespread natural occurrence. Acetaldehyde occurs in nature as an intermediate product in the respiration of higher plants and can be found in ripening fruit such as apples. It is also an intermediate product of fermentation of alcohol and in metabolism of sugars in the body. It may form in wine and other alcoholic beverages after exposure to air. Natural sources include forest fires, volcanoes, animal wastes, and insects.” http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/sok/acetaldehyde.html

  20. For Annie and vboring’s sake and those with perfume allergies, lets ban all fragrances from clothes drying, that will make the world a better place.

    Seriously, this is a very simplistic study I would expect to see from a JR high science fair project not a real university study.

    While admittedly in high concentrations such as store aisles an such, perfumes and smells can be overwhelming and perhaps even harmful, especially to those with sensitivity to them, but lets apply some common sense here people.

    Condensed urban living, preferred by greenies who want to reduce land disturbance and carbon footprints from bigger houses and long commutes, virtually eliminates the ability to “naturally” dry clothes on a clothes line. Like any ” pollutant” concentration is the issue, if there is indeed an increased concentration of “hrmful” chemicals to the local environment then perhaps some action needs to be taken, but until a real scientific repeatable studies with several hundred dryers, gas and electric with samples of intake air and exhaust air taken over sustained periods of time with varying types of detergents, softeners, dryer sheets or other softening, static reducing methods, and at varying distances from the exhaust port in both urban and rural locations have been conducted and repeated, this is nothing more than alarmism.

    Lets move along, shall we. Oh and hold your nose, something here stinks.

  21. I so agree with the over-scented household cleaning product comments. I buy unscented when I can find it. If that laundry sheet smell is as good as the commercials say it is, why can’t you buy it as a perfume? Dish soap is the worst. I can smell and taste that stuff on plastic-based ware. It’s like having soap as a side dish on your plate and a mix for your drink. Yuk.

  22. So which is more troublesome perfume chemicals from dryer vents, or radiation from Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant? Life is risky, getting out of bed takes courage, on a long enough time line we are all dead. Let’s not sweat the small stuff. I’d say we get more chemical exposure in our food and cooking utensils from China, than dryer vents. I’d venture to say that outgassing of plastics in modern cars produces more “toxic” chemicals than dryer vents, especially after being parked in the sun all day.

    The only bright spot in this entire study is no mention of public funding for this research. I like a clean environment as much as the next goob, but I’m certain coal power plants produce much more pollution than all the dryers in the world combined.

  23. What next, attack bathroom vents?

    Just think of all the dangerous gasses that are emitted from bathrooms….

  24. My home owners association prohibits clothes lines . While I don’t particularly like scented dryer sheets , they do help with static electricity .

  25. They point the finger at the manufacturers of those laundry fragrance. If they emit benzene that is REAL pollution that should and is easy to remove. Besides, when you use those sort of liquids or sheets, you reduce significantly the life of your dryer. For those using those laundry fragrance do this test… take the lint filter off and clean it of the lint and then put water on it. You will see how it pearls. Now clean it with an old toothbrush and a bit of dish soap. Do the same test again with the water and you will find that the water just goes through easily. The chemicals in the fragrance plugs slowly your lint filter and doing so reduces the air flow. The coils over heat and not only it reduces the efficiency of drying it also reduces the life of the coils.

    The problem I have is when they say that “dryer vents are essentially unregulated and unmonitored”. Again, it is not the consumer that should be responsible but the manufacturers. That hole in our derrières also emits a whole lot of “dangerous” chemicals. When will be the time when they will want to “monitor” and “regulate” (or tax) our personal emissions?

  26. Why run vinegar through the washer? Because in 1998 the EPA banned phosphates in detergents and mold now is able to grow in washing machines. You can’t see it because it is on the inside of the tub. I have tried to remove it with vinegar to no avail. I had to replace one washing machine prematurely already. The majority of phosphates could be scrubbed by existing sewage treatment technology with further improvements easily generated with the right incentives. In 2010, 16 states banned phosphates in dishwasher detergent. Now we have white spots on our dishes even using a rinse agent and we have mold growing on most of the plastic components.
    The EPA, along with state run EPAs are not scientific organizations. The ban on phosphates is a knee jerk reaction to a very real problem. Instead of addressing the problems on a case by case basis, determining safe levels of realease, seeking public assistance in reducing phosphate use, and creating incentives for technological development, they choose to make us live with mold by banning a substance.
    We like the scented fabric softener and feel no ill effects. And I want my phosphate detergents back.

  27. To top it off, many communities have a ban on clotheslines, so what are we supposed to do?

    Oh, I know. Everyone go down to the river and beat your clothes on a rock, then put ‘em on wet. Yeah… that’s the ticket… until the EPA starts requlating the type of rocks you’re allowed to use.

    /Dang! Wish it was sarc but ‘fraid not

    P.S. No scented laundry stuff for me… tend to get a dermal reaction. Don’t need the gub’mint to tell me not to use scented products.

  28. Should be labeled as citizen science, considering the “experiments” were done on two sets of used washers/dryers in actual homes. Funding for this kind of “research” must be even worse off than for climate sceptics.

  29. We don’t need no stinkin nanny state.

    That said, the vapors are probably not too good for us. Same goes for all those indoor air freshener devices. I just talk with my wallet and don’t purchase them. If others want to that’s fine by me.

  30. In 1997 I spent a day meeting with representatives of the EPA Region V headquarters in Chicago. They came out to discuss issues surrounding inclusion of a Midwest utility’s service area in the region covered by regulations proposed to safeguard vulnerable East Coast states (which weren’t doing much of anything about their own emissions, specifically from transportation, and wanted to fob off responsibility on the schmucks in the Midwest,) against having their air sullied by our generation.

    Someone at the table asked if, in pursuit of emission reductions, the EPA had considered regulating residential water heaters. It may have been a joke; I don’t know, but the EPA didn’t take it as one. Without hesitation, an EPA official responded, “We actually looked at that,” and explained that the idea was a non-starter, but only because of “manpower issues.” He clearly conveyed that the only reason EPA could think of not to regulate home water heaters was the practical difficulty of hiring a big enough army of federal snoopers to make sure you weren’t taking too hot a shower every morning.

    Earlier in the same meeting, a state-level air bureaucrat talked about “travel demand management.” (Can you visualize the uniforms?) He explained there weren’t enough industrial emissions in one region of the state to reach “attainment” by reducing them. Transportation reductions would be the only way that could be done, he said. Planning to visit Grandma? Better have your permits in order.

    Now we have the dryer vent crisis, the opening bell of a campaign to force the rest of you back to using outdoor clotheslines to offset the emissions from the bureaucrats referenced above running their dryers.

    The takeaway message here is that there is absolutely no detail of your life these people will not attempt to control in order to reinforce their personal pretense of saving the planet—a conceit adopted, consciously or otherwise, to let them feel virtuous about doing exactly as they please at all times.

  31. Let’s face it: clothes dryers are evil. Not only do they emit toxic gases, they also produce huge amounts of water vapor – a potent greenhouse gas. Plus they consume electricity which is a by-product of the coal industry and sometimes burn natural gas, emitting even more pollution. We might as well have nuclear reactors in the laundry room. Hopefully, we will be saved by a flurry of government regulations and and army of inspectors before all life on Earth is destroyed.

  32. When will the foolishness end? Not that of study and research, but of publication and appeal for legislation.

    We can do without the scented dryer sheets, heck we can do without dryers! But do we HAVE to? Really?

    The MSM have a complete lack of self-awareness except for their own importance. We’d be stared out of the boardroom for making an issue of such a thing, and be audited for how we are spending the company’s money and time.

  33. Let’s not forget why perfume was invented in the first place. The “consensus” was that bathing was bad for your health.

  34. Diary note: Must give up sniffing dryer vents.

    Laboratory notebook: Should have used new machines to eliminate possible internal contamination. Should have sampled room air before, during and after tests for analysis. Should have sampled mains water before, during and after tests for analysis. Must buy another bottle of vinegar. Must learn to acquire a sense of proportion.

  35. I cannot stand the smell of perfumed laundry detergent in my clothes especially my shirts. IMO only people with a very poor sense of smell are able to tolerate it. The worst for me is how it overpowers and ruins the smell of just about anything I am eating. (Am I eating a chicken sandwich or an artificial lilac sandwich here?..)

    My wife tries to buy ordinary non-scented detergent but now some brands are making it difficult to determine if there is perfume in them, (you have get out the 4X reading glasses to read the fine print.)

  36. I use liquid “Downy” fabric softener, not sure why, other than my mother always used to.
    The following (verbatim) excerpt from my current container has always made me wonder what the product contains:

    “Warning: Liquid fabric softener can increase fabric flammability.
    Using more than recommended can increase this effect.
    Do not use this product:
    On children’s sleepwear or garments labeled as flame resistant as it may reduce flame resistance.
    On garments made with fluffier fabrics (such as fleece, velour, chenille, and terry cloth).”

    Is there even a passing mention of the above in the research ?
    Maybe it is not grant worthy ?
    Sorry, kind of a pet peeve of mine.

  37. I can just imagine a group of Green activists catalogued every labor saving device and petitioned any number of federal agencies or universities to do “studies” which show how dangerous they are:

    Air Conditioners

    Toilets

    Light bulbs

    Autos

    Refrigerators

    Clothes Dryers

    And the list goes on and on. In 1-2 decades we will all (save our Minders) be living like European peasents from the Middle Ages.

  38. “Analysis of the captured gases found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals – acetaldehyde and benzene – are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.”

    OK, form now on, DO NOT SIT NEXT TO DRYER VENT. If you did, it is 25 to life in the slammer

  39. The study has left out at least one control: Monitoring the output from the dryer vent when fragrance-free detergent alone was used. The study was not structured to be able to confirm that there are only emissions when an odor can be detected. I would think that there could still be chemicals in the emissions even when there is no odor. Many chemicals are odorless.

  40. I was poisoned in a industrial chemical accident 26 years ago, as the result of the accident I am ultra sensitive to many organic chemicals that come out of dryer vents. We now live in the country, out of an attempted to avoid the toxic fumes. Many times if the wind is just right we receive the strong fragrance levels form 2 to 3 miles away. Some people do not think there is enough perfume in the laundry products to begin with, so they add more. EPA in cooperation published a large study conducted in early 90’s in California showing that one of the primary sources of indoor air pollutants were laundry products and personal care products. Most people would be appalled if they had any idea of the amounts and types of chemicals that they are putting in their clothing and on their bodies.

  41. Do these people really, really not see how utterly idiotic their article is on its own terms? Even taking their “estimate” seriously (quite a leap), “in the Seattle area, where the study was conducted, acetaldehyde emissions from this brand of laundry detergent would be equivalent to 3 percent of the total acetaldehyde emissions coming from automobiles. Emissions from the top five brands, they estimate, would constitute about 6 percent of automobiles’ acetaldehyde emissions.”

    OK, check. In other words, 16 times as much airborne acetaldehyde as in these little whatzises has no detectable effect on human health. Do these imbeciles really have nothing better to do? And is the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health really so hard up for articles to publish?

  42. I don’t use dryer sheets, because I air dry my laundry 9 months out of the year (Texas). Saves on the utility bill, and takes about as long as a machine in 100 degree temps, plus they dry without wrinkles(I hang them without creases)

  43. Over-scented effluent from laundry vents = absolutely infuriating (particularly in high-density neighborhoods where the plumes can be truly overwhelming), so PLEASE regulate REGARDLESS of toxicity!!

  44. A ‘possum recently crawled into my sister’s dryer vent and got fried when she dried that last load. Poor Pogo. Let’s see them regulate those emissions!

  45. What I don’t understand is whether these ‘dangeous’ chemicals are the result of the perfumes used in the dryer sheets (I love my lavender dryer sheets) or the result of whatever they put in there to soften the clothes while drying.

  46. Annie-
    Evidently those people that wear those horrible perfumes forced their way into your
    “other half’s” study and demanded to be interviewed, correct? Well, you would not expect such persons to be concerned that they were polluting your home’s environment. They may have just assumed that it was a place of business. Obviously they also ignored your signs prohibiting such fragrances.
    Here’s a thought; there is a new invention called “vents” that provide a path for removing interior air to the outside. Some are even equipped with fans to increase the rate of air exchange. Other models are now available with various types of filters to remove odors and other contaminating substances. You might consider equiping your problem study with one, or even more, of these?

  47. Good thing this study came along, we don’t nearly enough government regulation of every minutia of our lives….

  48. John Garrett [August 24, 2011 at 7:54 am] says:

    God help us all.

    A hundred years from now, little children in China will be told to clean their plates with the admonition, “Think of all the starving children in America.”

    Oh that’s good. I mean that’s REALLY good. Simply brilliant. Tipping my hat to you.

  49. John W. says:
    August 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

    “… The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies …”

    But do they? And in what concentration? What is the LD50 (or equivalent for carcinogens) for the compounds? For example, what is the concentration in ppm or ppb at 10m from the vent? 20m? 50? Compared to the exposure shown in controlled laboratory experiments to lead to x% increase in the probability of developing cancer of type A, B, or C over time t?

    Careful methodology, limited data set, not controlled for variation in machines, no tie in to health effects, etc. In other words, is there any real science in this study? (I read the paper, didn’t see it. Maybe I missed it and someone else will spot it.)==================

    hey John, consider that that sort of safety data SHOULD be done BY the chemcos making the products..and?
    they are NOT tested in almost every case.
    and they NEVER were tested in combination.!
    their Avoidance of info is truly criminal when kids or pets ingest stuff and you have NO idea what the hell IS s IN a product to be able to treat.!! and theChem helplines are not always staffed, hospitals arent much chop either I found, take ages to work it out.
    Home care and personal products have a real LOT of GRAS ingredients,
    that doesnt mean they are..it means not enough people have reported adverse events, and neither do the Gps.
    I used to have issues just with laundry powder, then it grew to be all commercial cleaners and made my life pure hell, and I am not an “allergy” type person or asthmatic.
    TRICLOSAN..was first regd as?
    a Pesticide!
    sure the amounts are minimal per product ie mouthwash(ugh) toothpaste(sensitive gum issues rose) soaps(rashes and dry skin complaints) and then plastic food containers /wrapping etc all impregnated bin liners for heavens sakes??? Medicos reported issues with the hand sanitisers years ago.
    and now?
    they ARE announcing “issues” with triclosan.
    this ISNT about idiot grentards, it IS about accumulative toxins in the home.
    INDOOR air esp in usa with no openable windows, IS pretty bad and its been known for years.
    go spray the bathroom with domestos for eg, open door or not youre going to feel crook. women use multiple chem every day+ whats In personal creams makeups etc
    dermal absorption is a fact.

  50. For goodness sake don’t tell the Ozzie Greens, or we will all be back to washing clothes with our hands and scrubbing boards. And using solar energy to dry them. Don’t use biodegradables
    in America.

  51. I consider people who wear perfume deposited by fabric softeners and dryer sheets almost the same as with those who drive around in cars with the bass so loud that I can hear it a half a block away.

    I detect odor the same way as Annie.

    For static electricity, P Walker should use unscented dryer sheets like we do.

  52. Acetaldehyde also is produced by natural human activity. That’s what gives you that “funny” taste in your mouth when you wake up in the morning (before you rinse).

  53. Forgive me if I’m wrong but couldn’t are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level. equally mean that they are totally safe?

  54. I avoid scented cleaning products due concern about rash and skin tags (which are caused by irritation, mostly from clothes). Mind, where I live static electricity from clothes drying is not a problem because the air is not dry. Inland, especially east of the Rocky Mountains, static is a big problem winter and summer.
    I second muttering about regulations on soaps – they don’t cut grease on dishes (vegetable oil in particular).

    People on the west coast of North America – where the UW is – should be worrying about TBO – the big earthquake, “The Big One”. I hear that DC just got a reminder that earthquakes happen, usually elsewhere of course. Haven’t heard if they lost any historic buildings as the Puget Sound area of WA state does every earthquake. (Masonry buildings don’t hold together well when the forces aren’t simply downward as weight of structure and contents normally are.)

  55. How many tens of billions of dollars do we borrow to pay for such nonsense ? The people who are producing these sorts of studies could be better used in the harvesting phase of fruit and vegetable production, where many, for the first time in their lives could, experience the pride of making a net societal contribution.

  56. I really don’t care about the validity or otherwise of the study. Just so long as it gets easier to buy detergents without the godawful synthetic stinks.
    I also don’t like the stink that wafts out the doors of a certain UK cosmetic chain that emphasises natural ingredients, and markets stuff filled with rain forest ingredients, in colours that, oddly enough, are not seen in nature,
    And as for “air fresheners”….

    If I actually had a good sense of smell, it’d be horrible.

  57. I suppose you don’t like the natural scent given off by fresh flowers either. I know in our radiology company we are asked not to wear perfume (some technicians are allergic to it) or talcum powder.
    Horses for courses. I use biodegradable washing liquid and washing up liquid. One has a lemon scent that doesn’t worry me even if it didn’t.

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