Toxic Laundry Detergent

The University of Washington has released an alarming study on laundry products and air fresheners. Professor Anne Steinemann tested six top-selling products, and found they all had at least one toxic or hazardous chemical. Five of the six had carcinogenic chemicals. What’s more, all of the products failed to mention the hazardous ingredients on their labels.

The chemicals included acetone, the active ingredient in paint thinner and 1-4 dioxane, which has been listed as a carcinogen in the State of California.

Steinemann, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, said she decided to study these products because she knew several people who had gotten sick from air fresheners and laundry detergent. “I wanted to know, ‘What’s in these products that is causing these effects?'”

The study was to raise public awareness about exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals, Steinemann says. But if you found these results worrying enough to try and boycott any of those carcinogenic products, you’re out of luck. The professor has chosen not to release the names of any of the products tested. Instead, she recommends avoiding air fresheners altogether.