When you have dirty laundry you grab your laundry detergent and get to work. Have you ever considered what effects that detergent may have on the world around you? Consider how your detergent may be helping or harming you.
Effects on Laundry
Laundry detergent is used to clean and deodorize clothing and linens, keep them fresh, and even make them look better in some cases.
Effects on the Environment
Conventional laundry detergent contains chemicals that can pollute water supplies, remove oxygen from water supplies, promote growth of algae in water supplies and harm plants. Detergent bottles produce unbiodegradable solid waste when they are empty and thrown away.
Effects on Animals
Conventional laundry detergent chemicals are toxic to animals who drink them, kill fish in their natural environment and cause burns on land and aquatic animal flesh.
Effects on Humans
Laundry detergent may cause skin burns or irritation, dermatitis and allergies, cancer, and is toxic if swallowed.
Effects of "Green" Detergent
Natural and eco-friendly laundry detergents are available commercially and are biodegradable, use less harmful ingredients, and are generally safer for use around humans and animals. A gentle, safe detergent can be made at home with 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1 grated bar castile soap.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergent Ingredients
- Sixwise.com: The Toxic Dangers of Typical Laundry Detergent
- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organic Living;" Eliza Sarasohn with Sonia Weiss; 2009
- Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images