Learn which laundry chemicals could put your health at risk.
By Sarah Lozanova
The chart below will help you identify and avoid harmful ingredients found in many laundry products. Learn more about keeping your laundry room healthy in "Toxic Laundry Detergent Ingredients to Avoid."
|Ingredient to Avoid||Found In||Potential Health Risks|
|Benzaldehyde||Laundry bleach, perfumes||Irritation to mouth, throat, eyes and skin|
|Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid||Fabric softener||Reproductive and developmental effects in animal studies|
|Artificial fragrances||Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener||Irritation to skin and eyes; many are toxic and are
|Diethanolamine||Detergent||Irritation to skin and eyes; linked to liver and kidney tumors
and developmental and reproductive toxicity in animal studies
|Quaternium-15||Detergent||Releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that causes
rashes and skin inflammation
|2-Butoxyethanol||Dry cleaning chemical, stain removers||Birth defects and reproductive and developmental effects
in animal studies; carcinogen
|Chlorine||Laundry bleach||Potent irritant to eyes, upper respiratory tract and lungs|
|Perchlorethylene (Perc)||Dry cleaning chemical||Liver and kidney damage; irritant; possible carcinogen|
|Ethyl acetate||Fabric softener||Neurotoxin; irritant|
|Nonylphenol ethoxylate||Laundry detergent, dry cleaning aids||Hormone disruptor|
|ER, KSN, OB, OB-1||Common trade names for optical brighteners||Possible developmental and reproductive effects|
|Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates
|Detergent||Skin and eye irritant; can be toxic to aquatic life; can
produce toxic fumes during production
(also called naphthas)
|Detergent||Chemicals linked to cancer and lung damage|
Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!
Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.
The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News
Save Money & a Few Trees!
By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).
You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.