Dementia and Dryer Sheets
Exposure to the chemicals routinely used in dryer sheets (even the perfume free ones) can be inhaled from vented dryers or from your clothes after removing from the dryer and also allows those toxins to soak directly into your skin. Fabric softeners, like other fragrant products, contain petrochemicals. These chemicals can adversely affect the central nervous system and may produce symptoms such as: aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine. So besides the dementia and dryer sheets connection what other Central Nervous System disorders are there that can be worsened by these toxins: Alzheimer’s Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Seizures, Strokes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), learning and focus disabilities, agitation and anger.
Neurologists agree that with certainty, the only thing we know for sure, is, environmental toxins contribute to dementia. According to The Brain Wash by Michelle Cook: There are two very disturbing trends: the incidence of brain disease is growing at an alarming rate; and increasing levels of industrial chemicals are being found in human bodies.
You won’t see the toxic ingredients listed on the box of dryer sheets because there are no laws in place which require the manufacturers to list them. I looked at a box at the grocery store and it simply says “Keep out of Reach of Children”. Often the label will say biodegradable cationic softeners. These ingredients that may make our clothes fluffy and static-free are toxic chemicals which build up in our body and can mess up the central nervous system. So what is the dementia and dryer sheet connection:
1. Alpha-Terpineol can cause central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headaches.
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. Neurotoxic 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 Labels with this say, Danger Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable. Keep away from heat and avoid breathing vapor. Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors may cause central nervous system depression. Contact can cause eye irritation. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis (skin rash). (Dementia and Dryer Sheets connection from WebMD)
So what can you do to keep your clothes soft and static free without those dryer sheets? I found that dryer balls made of wool with a few drops of Essential Oil work as a perfect solution. I originally purchased mine from Norwex, which have great products but these were pretty pricey. I found a US made brand for less than half the price by a company called A Little Green Bee. Dryer Balls not only remove the need for toxic dryer sheets, so save you money but also reduce drying time by up to 25% by increasing space with their bouncing around with your clothes. Others have reported their clothes are less wrinkled when they use these.
Resources: http://www.ewg.org (Environmental working group)
Related blog: Soap Nuts Liquid Detergent as a Toxin Free Choice
Please Share “Dementia and Dryer Sheets”