We are all exposed to an abundance of toxins every day, and while we cannot eliminate all toxins, we can lessen our exposure by using natural products. This is important to good health, as environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals may contribute to problems for our central nervous system and be linked to dementia.
Our skin is a protective barrier, but certain chemicals can be absorbed through it and hurt us. Perfumed or even fragrance-free dryer sheets and liquid can contain toxic chemicals that become attached to our clothing and eventually our skin, where they are absorbed into our body and can affect the nervous system.
According to the author of The Brain Wash, here are some common chemicals found in dryer sheets and the effects:
1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression and headache.
2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
4. Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxin and carcinogenic.
5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression.
7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors causes central nervous system depression.
An alternative to dryer sheets are non-toxic Wool Dryer Balls, which can be purchased online or made if you do not mind the effort. Or try replacing liquid softener with this DIY!
Mix a batch of the following: 2 cups of Epsom salt or sea-salt mixed with 1/2 a cup of baking soda and 20 drops of natural essential oil (lavender or lemon are nice) and store in an airtight jar. To use, simply add a couple spoons in right before the rinse cycle.