A study of top-selling laundry products and air fresheners found the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. All six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals was listed on the product labels.
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Some of the products that freshen your rooms and perfume your laundry may not be so great for your health. A U.S. study of top-selling laundry products and air fresheners found the products gave off dozens of chemicals.
Your favorite laundry detergent or air freshener may not be so safe anymore. A study done by the University of Washington has shown that toxic chemicals are released by these scented products.
Detergents and Air Fresheners Smell Nice but Possibly Intoxicate
University of Washington civil and environmental engineering professor Anne Steinemann found a total of about 100 volatile organic compounds, many of which can pose danger to human health. What’s more, the possibly hazardous chemicals were not listed on the products’ labels, as companies are not required by law to list ingredients in fragrances.
Steinemann bought the six products from a local shop and requested industrial samples too. She studied three air fresheners: a solid deodoriser disk, a liquid spray, and plug-in oil; and three laundry products: a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a detergent. Back in the laboratory, each product was placed in an isolated space at room temperature and the surrounding air was analysed for volatile organic compounds that evaporate from the product's surface into the air.