Clean Laundry Can Emit Hazardous Toxins

Laboratory Equipment, Aug. 25, 2011

The sweet smell of fresh laundry may contain a sour note. Widely used fragranced products—including those that claim to be “green”—give off many chemicals that are not listed on the label, including some that are classified as toxic.

A study led by the Univ. of Washington discovered that 25 commonly used scented products emit an average of 17 chemicals each. Of the 133 different chemicals detected, nearly a quarter are classified as toxic or hazardous under at least one federal law. Only one emitted compound was listed on a product label, and only two were publicly disclosed anywhere. The article is published online in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.

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