One of the most common carcinogens found in everyday laundry detergents is known as 1,4-dioxane. 1,4-dioxane can also be found in paints and varnishes which is pretty disturbing.
As a matter of fact, according to the EPA’s own website, they consider this solvent to be a human carcinogen.
In their findings, they noted the side affects from acute (short-term) exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, drowsiness, allergies, skin irritation, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs in humans.
Here are some of the most common carcinogens in everyday laundry detergents: Nonylphenol Ethoxylate, petroleum distillates, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Phosphates, Alkyl Phenoxy Ethanols artificial colors, Quaternium 15, artificial fragrances, stabilizers (not considered high risk) and Alcohol Ethoxylates, just to name a few.
If you wear clothing, sleep in a bed that has sheets or use a towel after taking a shower, you are being exposed.
Here are few things you can do to minimize your risk of being exposed.
Wear your clothes longer before laundering them.
Switch to 100% non-toxic, biodegradable laundry products
Use detergents that contain no phosphates
Seek out plant-based enzymes and food-based detergents
Say no to bleach, dyes, fragrances, optical brighteners and masking agents
Lastly, you can reduce the amount of detergent you use per load. The manufacturer’s goal is to sell as much product as possible. You might find your clothes get just as clean with half the recommended amount plus you’ll even save some money.
There are also ways to clean your clothes without using detergents such as the WaterLiberty system here.