One day we will all wonder why we ever made detergents so toxic–after all they are going on the clothes we put on our backs. A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found that exposure to laundry detergent packets is more dangerous to young children than exposure to other types of laundry and dishwasher detergent.
David Steinman, an environmental health consumer advocate with the Green Patriot Working Group (GPWG) and former representative at the National Academy of Sciences, has been on a mission since 2007 to organize product testing for the petrochemical 1,4-dioxane in your personal care and household cleaning products. They found about two-thirds of the laundry detergents tested contained 1,4-dioxane.
Besides 1,4-dioxane, the average detergent has a long list of chemical ingredients, none of which are good for you or the environment. Anything in such a product can potentially be absorbed through your skin, or evaporate into the air you breathe.
The study published online in Pediatrics, found that from January 2013 through December 2014 Poison Control Centers in the U.S. received 62,254 calls related to laundry and dishwasher detergent exposures among children younger than 6 years old. The study included calls about both traditional detergent and detergent packets and found that detergent packets accounted for 60 percent of all calls. Almost half (45 percent) of the calls for exposure to laundry detergent packets were referred to a health care facility for evaluation and treatment, significantly more than calls related to exposures to traditional laundry detergent (17 percent), traditional dishwasher detergent (four percent), or dishwasher detergent packets (five percent).