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Your Laundry Detergent may be Contributing to Your Allergies

I don’t know about you but I feel like I do a lot of laundry.  It’s probably 3-4 loads a week, which I’d say, is about average for a family of five. 

I started researching laundry detergents about 18 years ago when I was pregnant with my first kiddo.  What I learned was that it was really important for babies to be in clothes (and bed sheets) free of perfumes and dyes because of their highly sensitive skin and senses.

As my kiddos grew up, I never “grew out” of using perfume-free & dye-free detergents. In fact, over the years, I’ve become even more unwavering in my decision to use natural detergents.  The chemicals used to create typical detergents are pretty toxic!  

But if you’re not quite convinced to go the natural route for clean clothes, just do a quick google search on the toxicity of the laundry detergent Tide.  I think you’ll be surprised, and if you’re like me, a bit horrified that people can still buy and use it!

Here’s a quick list of toxic chemicals in common detergents, such as Tide, All and Gain:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Nonylphenol ethoxylate
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Anionic surfactants
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Phenols
  • Optical brighteners
  • Sodium hypochlorite bleach
  • Ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate

The first three chemicals are described below and give a little sample of what we’re dealing with…Yikes!

1,4 dioxane in the short term can cause eye and nose irritation; long-term, it can even affect liver and kidneys.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it may cause cancer and has been found to be potentially toxic to your brain and central nervous system, kidneys, liver and respiratory system

Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) has been found to mimic estrogen and disrupt endocrine functions. Not to mention that when this chemical is released into the waterways, it’s highly toxic to aquatic life.

Sodium lauryl sulfate has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.

If these chemicals are wreaking havoc on the nervous system, kidneys and liver, just imagine how they might be affecting your allergies!

So, what can we do to avoid all these harmful chemicals and still have clean clothes?  There are a lot of responsible companies who are making great soaps AND keeping the land and waterways clean. 

If you’re at the store and you can’t remember the name or brands recommended here, look for “Biodegradable”.  Typically, when you see biodegradable, the product won’t contain heavy hitting toxic chemicals.

And just keep in mind that even though you’re “cleaning up” your laundry detergent, you may still experience allergies.  It’s important not to give up.  You can also begin to clean up your own bodies waterways, lymphatic system and blood with Lucidia.

Kacey Moe

MS Holistic Nutrition

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