The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dryer Sheets Contain Toxic Chemicals

While looking around for ideas on greener living, I found that several articles contained warnings against using fabric softener dryer sheets. They contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful when exposed to your skin or when inhaled. It seems like so many products contain chemicals and toxic substances. We really need to read the labels and find out what is in each product we are using. I try to look for products that have only a few ingredients listed.
Instead of using these dryer sheets, you can add about 1/4 cup vinegar to your laundry when washing to remove static and add a few drops (only a few) of essential oils to make the clothing smell nice. You can also use a natural alternative which will have less chemicals, like these sheets in the photo from Seventh Generation. Remember that all these chemicals, in our food, our cleaners, our furniture, and our clothes (especially if you dry clean them) add up in our bodies, and our pets and kids' bodies. Many chemicals can cause illness and may even lead to cancer.
I just read a new study about asthma and toxic chemicals. For years we have known that an increase in asthma is linked to children being raised in an overly sterile environment. It was thought that children who were not exposed to bacteria and viruses were not able to build up their immune system. Now, this new study shows that asthma is more likely to occur in children who are exposed to toxic cleaning products. So, both lack of exposure to germs and the type of cleaning products used may be causing an increase in asthma. I have previously posted about how to make your own cleaning products. You can use those recipes, make your own, or find more online. It is so important for improving your indoor air to use safe, non toxic cleaning products. Let me know if you have any questions about asthma or about products you think may be toxic.

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