What Is Really in Laundry Detergent?

(BeWellBuzz) Laundry detergent, according to many researchers, is a danger to the environment and to the health of every person who uses it. To most people, such claims come across like an exaggerated conspiracy theory. Some skeptics even laugh at such notions and ask, if laundry detergent is so dangerous, why aren’t men, women and children, getting violently sick every time they put on freshly washed clothes.

That is an intellectually dishonest proposition. It insinuates the notion that the only dangerous things in life will kill you or cause you great bodily harm, quickly, and all at once. According to that philosophy, cigarette addiction could never be dangerous or harmful in any way.

In the book, “Never Be Sick Again” by Raymond Francis, an MIT trained scientist, tells how he brought himself back from the brink of death, and since then, countless other individuals as well, by following and teaching his new model of human health and sickness.

He says, there is only one disease: cellular malfunction. It, in turn, manifests in countless symptoms, that are incorrectly labeled as various diseases and disorders, both large and small — for instance, everything from cancer to the common cold.

He tells us there are only two possible causes of cellular malfunction: deficiency and toxins. Symptoms (what we currently think of as illnesses), originate due to the lack of something our cells are in need of (certain nutrients), or because they are being adversely affected my unnatural poisons. The poisons are all around us in our synthetic environment.

They are extremely prevalent in our personal care products, including (and especially) in our laundry detergents. Francis says that the thing to remember about these chemical poisons is that their effects are cumulative. Just as one cigarette is not going to kill you, exposure to toxins, over the years, clog up your body’s detoxification abilities and can drastically affect your immune system until your life is in jeopardy.

Moreover, it is not uncommon for some individuals to develop heightened sensitivities to certain chemicals in laundry products that will create profoundly negative health consequences requiring emergency hospitalization. When the toxin is discovered and the person learns to avoid it, his/her health suddenly gets better.

For most people, though, the damage these toxic ingredients do is slow, and therefore very insidious. It can take decades to deteriorate your health to alarming levels. Since there are thousands of chemical culprits, finding out the ones that are creating the cellular malfunction can be like searching for a needle in the proverbial haystack.

That is why Raymond Francis says the solution is prevention, by giving your life a complete environmental makeover. Opt for natural and organic products and food in every area that is humanly possible. He recommends natural alternatives to toxic laundry products as a very good start in your quest for the proper functioning of the trillions of cells the comprise your body, so you will never be sick again.

In the past century, more than 80,000 known chemicals have been introduced in our environment. The Untied States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) only tests for about two hundred of them. Needless to say, the list of toxins that government agencies warn us to avoid is woefully inadequate, which is why you should avoid as many chemicals as possible.

One chemical that is not part of the 200 tested by the EPA is 1,4-dioxane, a chemical known to cause cancer, liver disease and other serious ailments. It is found in many personal care products, including a number of detergents.

David Steinman from the Green Patriot Working Group (GPWG) began a study to see which consumer products are the worst offenders. This year, his organization along with the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), released the results of a portion of the study conducted last year on laundry detergents.

The top seven detergents with the highest concentration are:

Conventional brands:
1. Tide (P&G) – 55 parts per million (ppm)
2. Ivory Snow Gentle (P&G) – 31 ppm
3. Tide Free (P&G) – 29 ppm
4. Purex (Dial Corp.) – 25 ppm
5. Gain 2X Ultra (P&G) – 21 ppm
6. Cheer BrightClean Detergent (P&G) – 20 ppm
7. Era 2X Ultra (P&G) – 14 ppm
8. Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight Co.) – 5.0 ppm
9. Wisk 2X Ultra (Sun Products Corp.) – 3.9 ppm
10. Woolite Complete Detergent (Reckitt Benckiser) – 1.3 ppm
11. All laundry detergent(Unilever) – 0.6 ppm
12. Dreft powdered detergent (P&G) – non-detectable (ND)
13. Sun Burst (Sun Products Corp.) – ND

“Natural” brands:
1. Planet Ultra Liquid laundry detergent – 6.1 ppm
2. Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent – 1.5 ppm
3. Clorox Green Works Natural laundry detergent – ND
4. Ecos laundry detergent (Earth Friendly Products) – ND
5. Life Tree Laundry Liquid – ND
6. Method Squeaky Green laundry detergent – ND
7. Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent – ND

Unfortunately, 1,4-dioxane is just the tip of the iceberg. To list all the harmful ingredients in laundry detergent, and all the studies indicating the potential health consequences of those chemicals, could easily fill a very large book. The solution is to change your lifestyle. Find natural alternatives to the chemicals you are using in your day to day life. They exist. You just have to look for them.

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