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Surfactants Builders Bleaches Colorants Optical Brighteners Solvents Wash Water Resource Efficiency Packaging
Surfactants Positive Environmental Characteristic: Biodegrade readily to compounds with low toxicity. Example: Straight carbon chain compounds like linear alcohol ethoxylates or betaine esters. Key Characteristics of Concern: Toxicity to aquatic organisms, like fish (vertebrates), daphnids (invertebrates) and algae; persistence in the environment; toxicity of biodegradation byproducts.
Colorants Positive Environmental Characteristic: Low toxicity to humans and aquatic organisms. Minimize colorant use whenever possible. Key Characteristic of Concern: Toxicity. Studies indicate that certain colorants may cause cancer or other adverse health effects in humans (e..g., Rhodamine B). Metalized dyes present health and environmental concerns.
Most detergents are derived from petrochemical ingredients. They may contain bleaches, synthetic whiteners, and chemical fragrances, even in some so-called "fragrance free" brands. Some detergents may contain ammonia, ethanol, naphthalene and phenol. Many liquid brands contain ethoxylated alcohols, which can be contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane. Detergent residues on clothes and bed linens can be a source of skin irritation, and lingering scents from scented products can cause respiratory and other reactions in both the user and others. Petroleum-based detergents cause more household poisonings than any other household product, (when eaten by children.) Laundry soaps, available as bar soaps or flakes, are usually made from natural minerals and fats and tend to be less toxic than conventional
The toxic response of lettuce to Igepon was that the roots turned brown and became necrotic within 24 h following exposure. Growth was suppressed for approximately 4 days following exposure to concentration greater than 0.35 mM
ALPHA-TERPINEOL Causes CNS (central nervous system) disorders... "highly irritating to mucous membranes" ..."Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema." Can also cause "excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache." "Prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact." BENZYL ACETATE Carconigenic (linked to pancreatic cancer). "From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough." "In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs." "Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects." "Do not flush to sewer." BENZYL ALCOHOL Causes CNS disorders ..."irritating to the upper respiratory tract" ..."headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure."
Fabric softeners may contain quarternary ammonium compounds (quats) and imidazolidinyl, both of which are known formaldehyde releasers.
For extra bleaching power, add lemon juice or peroxide to a load of laundry once it gets going with your alternative to conventional detergent. Lemon juice or vinegar can also be used to deodorize laundry. For stains, soak laundry in a mixture of cold water, vinegar, and baking soda; you may want to spot test the fabric first to make sure that the fabric does not bleach or stain in this mixture.