We live in a world that is innudated with chemicals designed to make the world more pleasant. Clothes don’t smell fresh like a mountain spring? Add some fragrance to your laundry detergent. Carpet smells like dog? Sprinkle some powder and vacuum it up to get rid of (ummmm…I mean “cover up”) that dog smell. But this constant exposure comes with a price.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are well known to be hazardous to our health. They can contribute to things like respiratory problems, reproductive problems and cancer. And we are well aware that we need to reduce our exposure when it comes to paint, copiers, pesticides, correction fluid and glue. But what about those tricky little VOCs that are present in other everyday items?
Researchers found VOCs were present in air fresheners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, disinfectants, dish detergents, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, and shampoos. The VOCs released from these products were NOT disclosed on the label of the product.
The bottom line is that you can eradicate every less-than-minimally-pleasant scent in your life or you can be truly healthy, but you can’t have both. Consider items that use essential oils or are fragrance free. In the dryer, consider those knobby dryer balls instead of toxic dryer sheets. You may not smell like you just walked off the set of a Dove commercial, but your body will thank you later.