Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Toxins

Last night as I was walking in the back yard, I perceived a smell that I have smelled before.  It was the smell of laundry detergent and fabric softener.  Every time that I have detected this wafting through the air I have wondered how this could be.  We have not used laundry detergent or fabric softener for about 15 years.  I do use laundry detergent for spraying for certain insects and fabric softener for my climbing ropes to keep them workable after washing them.  But for our regular laundry, we use laundry disks filled with structured water, spot treating with Simple Green, and sometimes adding OxiClean.

Yet on a number of occasions I have perceived the smell of the fragrances commonly added to laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets.  This had puzzled me each time that my olfactory senses were bombarded with this odor.

It suddenly occurred to me that the source had to be from one of the neighbors’ dryer vents.  I was astounded to realize that the amount of toxic fragrance that my neighbors were using was so powerful that it could fill the air in my back yard.  I thought: “Oh my!  People are actually putting that much of toxic chemicals into their clothes and bedding and are being bombarded with this 24 hours per day!”

Is it any wonder that people develop so many allergies and other problems?

My dad told me long ago about what some men did to avoid the draft during times of war.  He said that some men would sleep with a bar of deodorant soap under each armpit.  The result was that the next day, when they would be examined by the doctor, they would have an irregular heart beat.  If they were not somehow caught in this deception, they would be declared unfit for military service and be spared being sent off to war.  (Dad volunteered, but was rejected because of his knees.)

If one or two nights of exposure have such an affect upon a person’s system, what will months and years of exposure do, especially when exposed to many sources of these toxins?

For more information regarding toxins in our households, see my post: Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Household Products.


Joseph Schmidt said...

Thank you for sharing! I've decided to stop using laundry detergent for this reason, or find a better alternative.

What do you think of the unscented detergent?

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Hi Joseph!

Unscented is certainly a better choice if the common detergents are used.

We have been using the laundry disks since about 1995. They work well. They were sold by a network marketing company, which means that they were overpriced, but they worked.

Sadly, United Laboratories did a false study of them and reported that they do not work. I suspect that the small company could not fight the big resources of Procter and Gamble and the IMF and simply went out of business rather than to fight. But our clothes come clean using them. The sales technique with the disks was to loan them for a week or so to people. When they observed that they work, then they chose to buy them rather than give them back.

Regardless of UL's report, our clothes come clean.

I suppose that this may work even without the disks, but . . .

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

OxiClean is a wonderful product. It is essentially hydrogen peroxide. It is environmentally safe, safe for the clothing, and powerful.

For odors, vinegar works very well. We buy the cheap white vinegar.

Baking soda also is good. It also works as a scrubbing agent in the kitchen. It works to remove stains from the counter top and sink, also.

Simple Green is another wonderful product that is non toxic and really works.

We add chlorine bleach in small amounts for disinfecting. The OxiClean has this effect also, since H2O2 is a germ killer.

The really big one to avoid is the dryer fabric sheet.

We have stopped using the dryer for most of our clothing, using it primarily for towels and bedding. I installed a clothes rod over the washer and dryer and we dry most of our clothing and even some of our towels in this way. The clothes last longer and we save energy costs.

These are a few ideas. There are many more things, including dietary changes, that make a difference in body odor and general health.

So, for whatever benefit you can derive . . .