Common ingredients in laundry detergent and why to avoid
These are some of the most common chemicals in laundry products and why they should give you cause for concern.
What is really in your laundry products? Here are some of the most common ingredients and the damage that they can cause.
Sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulphate
These foaming agents are used in all manner of products from face wash to shampoo, and of course, laundry detergents. They irritate the skin, cause dryness and flaking, and are dangerous if they come into contact with your eyes, or you ingest them. They are also a hazard when they are present in the waterways, meaning trouble for fish, wildlife, and plants.
These chemicals are not only linked to osteoporosis and cardiovascular issues but they are incredibly harmful for wildlife and the environment. They are particularly known for causing eutrophication, which is a kind of mineral poisoning that causes marine animal species to die.
Used to preserve dead bodies, formaldehyde is commonly used in laundry and dishwashing products. Not only is it toxic, but it can cause many reactions, allergies and serious health complications after consistent, long term exposure.
Bleach is used in a wide range of laundry products, particularly those that are intended to whiten products. It is a dangerous substance, particularly when used regularly and it can have a devastating impact on the rivers and waterways after it goes down the drain.
Manufacturers of products that include ‘fragrance’ on the label are not required to disclose what chemicals they use. Adding fragrance to a detergent can give the sense of cleanliness without actually cleaning in any way. The chemicals that make up fragrances are usually to blame in cases of allergies, sensitivity, reactions and rashes as well as respiratory issues.
Dyes are often added to laundry products to give it a colour that matches the supposed fragrance. The reality is that these dyes do absolutely nothing to help clean the items and are often responsible for skin rashes and reactions.