Laundry detergent has been a factor in our lives for decades, and most of the population never even looks into the toxicity these detergents contain. In fact, the government doesn’t even require detergent companies to list all their ingredients on their packaging, some of which are listed below. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, key characteristics of concern in Laundry Detergent ingredients include:
Surfactants: A material that can reduce the surface tension of water when used in very low concentration.
- Concern: Toxicity to aquatic organisms, like fish (vertebrates), daphnids (invertebrates) and algae; persistence in the environment; toxicity of biodegradation byproducts.
Builders: Chemical compounds such as sodium carbonate that reduce water hardness by removing cations contained in wash solutions.
- Concern: Potential to cause eutrophication in fresh water (eutrophication is the process by which a body of water becomes rich in dissolved nutrients, diminishing oxygen levels and a water body's ability to support various forms of aquatic life).
Bleaches: chemicals that remove color, whiten or disinfect, often by oxidation.
- Concern: Inherent toxicity and toxic byproducts.
Colorants: is something added to something else to cause a change in color.
- 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.
Optical Brighteners: Optical brighteners are synthetic chemicals added to liquid and powder laundry detergents to make clothing appear whiter and brighter, and thus cleaner
- Concern: Potential toxicity to humans.
Solvents: is a substance that dissolves a solute (a chemically different liquid, solid or gas), resulting in a solution.
- Concern: Toxicity to humans and aquatic organisms.
Wash Water: water emerging a cleaning agent, such as soap or laundry detergent.
- Concern: Highly caustic or acidic wash environments; may cause severe irritation or burns to living tissue in humans or aquatic organisms.
- Concern: Overuse of water and energy. Formulations that require high temperatures and multiple rinse cycles deplete increasingly scarce natural resources.
Packaging: Containers used for products.
- Concern: Non-reusable or non-recyclable containers.
These are high-risk concerns for the environment and to the human race. Understanding these and spreading awareness are a vital part of the EcoWasher™ revolution.
The EcoWasher™ omits everything above, providing a clean and friendly laundry experience without the dangers.
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(Definitions procured from various sources: Concerns come from the EPA)