Are your whites really whiter after you wash them or is it an optical illusion? Most laundry detergents contain optical brighteners (OBs). These chemicals trick your sensory perception. Your clothes may appear whiter and brighter but the truth is, they are not. These brighteners leave a residue of toxins reflecting ultraviolet light from your clothing. Laundry detergents are not cleaning or brightening your fabrics, they are leaving layers of chemicals in your clothes giving the appearance of bright and clean.
These toxic brighteners stay in your clothing and seep into your body while you’re working, relaxing, eating and when you snuggle into your bed for a good night’s sleep. Due to ultraviolet reactive molecules in OBs, your skin can become photosensitive and easily burn in sunlight increasing your risk for skin cancer.
People with sensitive skin often experience irritation and skin rashes from OBs. Many people assume that it’s an allergy and buy a hypoallergenic detergent. The problem is most of them actually contain yet another toxic ingredient to mask the other chemicals.
In addition, OBs along with other toxic ingredients in detergents harmfully affect our waterways. These toxic chemicals can change the physical properties of small organisms and poison fish. According to the article “Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergent”, optical brighteners can be toxic to humans and can cause developmental and reproductive effects.
In fact these brighteners have been shown to cause mutation in bacteria. Mutant bacteria, that’s all we need! More research is still needed to fully gauge the long term effects of these chemicals. No thank you! I pass on being the research.
Why put you and your family at risk for possible problems and complications?