Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents

Dr Anne Steinemann from the University of Washington, the same author who analysed fragranced consumer products and found out what chemicals were in them, has done a study on the chemicals emitted from the vents of household dryers. The study shows that air vented from machines using the top-selling liquid laundy detergent and scented dryer sheet are emitting many hazardous, as well as two carcinogenic, chemicals.

Manufacturers are not required to disclose what ingredients they use in fragrances or laundry products. Steinemann and her colleagues acquired the use of the household washing machines and dryers of two home-owning volunteers. They ensured the machines were thoroughly cleaned, and then ran comparative cycles, using a canister inside the dryer vent opening to capture the exhaust. Analysis found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, and the two carcinogens, acetaldehyde and benzene, for which there is no Environmental Protection Agency safe level.

These chemicals get everywhere – into the air, down the drains and into the water. Steinemann recommends using laundry products with no fragrance.

Source: University of Washington

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.First Published in August 2011


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