Detergents Linked to Allergies and Cancer: What are you washing your baby’s clothes with?

Laundry detergent seems to be one of those products you find a coupon for and throw in your cart every few weeks without thinking. There are so many options now, and it’s just soap right? I mean, it does its job to clean the clothes – no afterthoughts needed. It’s time to add laundry detergent to the growing list of products that are causing health problems in our country. To make it worse, this isn’t even new information! A small study just revealed that the scented detergents contain carcinogens, but this just opened the eyes of many to dig a little harder. It turns out that manufacturers do not have to disclose ingredients used in laundry products! So I dug around a bit, and I started reading the research.  This is what I found… The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It absorbs all that is put on it. Many detergents include the following:
  • Benzene: This causes leukemia and other blood cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • Acetaldehyde: Which has been shown to cause nasal and throat cancer in animal studies.
  • Proteolytic Enzymes: Linked to occupational asthma.
  • Diethanolamine: A skin and eye irritant also linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity.
  • Dyes: Linked to ADHD, learning disorders, allergies, etc.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): Linked to neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and cancer
  • 1,4-dioxane: Linked to cancer.
  • NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate): Linked to kidney and liver damage, decreased testicular growth and sperm count, disrupted growth and metabolism, and increased mortality.


Remember to always buy concentrated detergent. The good news is that the Environmental Working Group has ranked our options for detergents with letter grades A-F, and they have made it EASY for us to figure out what to buy. The bad news is that 886 products scored a C to F, leaving only 182 with A to B rankings.  (Eye opening isn’t it?) You can learn more on about your options, but here are a few safe choices: Attitude Laundry Detergent BerryPlus Soap Nuts Biokleen (Be careful – there are MANY types that range from A-D, so make sure you get the right one!) Eco-Me Laundry Detergent GreenShield Organic Laundry Detergent Molly's Suds Laundry Detergent NatureClean Laundry Powder When you start thinking about just how precious your baby’s skin is – so new to the world. It really makes sense to ensure you are using healthy products around your home. Take the time to learn about the best options and invest in your family’s health!   Mother and baby loading clothes into washing machine Resources:
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