Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dryer Sheets

Did you know this about dryer sheets?

"the contents of mainstream dryer sheets can indeed be rather toxic"

Unfortunately, we don't actually know everything that's in them, since the contents are treated as trade secrets by the manufacturers. But a few ingredients that have been identified in some formulations are benzyl acetate, limonene, and chloroform. Individually, these chemicals have been linked to cancer, and it's not likely they've been studied much in combination."

The good news is that dryer sheets and their cousins, fabric softeners, are not at all necessary. They're marketed as doing three glorious things: reducing static cling, making fabrics feel softer, and making things smell all fragrance-y. Dryer sheets especially were invented for use with synthetic fabrics that tend to get electrically charged when they rub together in the dryer. The softeners do their stuff by releasing the fragrance and also by coating the fabric in a chemical lubricating agent that both reduces static cling and makes clothes feel slicker or softer."

Natural-fiber clothing typically doesn't create much static electricity while tumbling about in the dryer, making the static-fighting function of dryer sheets and fabric softeners unnecessary."

Finally, recall that clotheslines, drying racks, and the like are the best eco-options anyway."

Read the whole article here.


Megan said...

i read this article this morning and was going to post it on here too! i think this is a thing that we really need to get people aware of.

Kimberly said...

so does this mean we shouldn't reuse them in pillows? i wouldn't want to give anyone cancer.

Kevin said...

Yeah, I don´t know. I wonder if inhaling the scent is potentially harmful. I kind of doubt it. It seems to me that the issue is more the direct contact with the chemicals. Although, who knows...?

Megan said...

but in order to use the dryer sheets in the pillow they would have to be preused since that is what makes them soft enough for pillows. so it seems that we shouldnt use them in pillow and try to find some other reusable item that would work.