Chemicals Found in Dryer Exhaust and There Toxicology
Chemicals found in fabric
softeners by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference: Lance Wallace, EPA
Identification of Polar Volatile Organic Compounds in consumer Products
and Common Microenvironments, 1991
Compiled by Julia Kendall (1935-1997)
Symptoms of exposure are taken from industry generated Material Safety
Data Sheets (MSDS)
Alph-Terpineol-Causes CNS disorders. “highly irritating to mucous
membranes.” “Aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumoitis 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-Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer) “From
vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting
cough.” “In mice: hyperemia of the lungs.” “Can be
absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects.” “Do not
flush to sewer.”
BENSYL ALCOHOL-Cause CNS disorders. “irritating to the upper
respiratory tract” “headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in
blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in sever cases due to
CAMPHOR-Causes CNS disorders. On EPS’s Hazardous Waste
list. Symptoms: “local irritant and CNS stimulant.”
“readily absorbed through body tissues” “irritation of eyes, nose
and throat” “dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and
convulsions” “Avoid inhalation of vapors.”
CHLOROFORM-Carcinogenic. On EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
“Avoid contact with eyes, skin, clothing. Do not breathe
vapors…Inhalation of vapors may cause headache, nausea, vomiting,
dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of respiratory tract and loss of
consciousness.” “Chronic effects of overexposure may include
kidney and/or liver damage.” “Medial conditions generally
aggravated by exposure: kidney disorders, liver disorders, heart
disorders, skin disorders.” Conditions to avoid HEAT
ETHANOL-On EPA Hazardous Waste list. Causes CNS disorders.
Symptoms- “fatigue, irritating to eyes and upper respiratory tract even
in low concentrations…” “Inhalation of ethanol vapors can have
effects similar to those characteristic of ingestion. These
include an initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness, impaired
vision, ataxia, stupor…”
ETHYL ACETATE-Narcotic. On EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
“irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract”…”may cause headache and
narcosis (stupor)”…defatting effect on skin and may cause drying and
cracking”…”may cause anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and
kidneys” “wash thoroughly after handling.”
LIMONENE- Carcinogenic. “Prevent its contact with skin or eyes
because it is an irritant and sensitizer.” “Always wash
thoroughly after using this material and before eating, drinking,
applying cosmetics. Do not inhale limonene vapor.”
LINOLOOL-Narcotic. Cause CNS disorders. “respiratory
disturbances”…Attracts bees.” In animal test: ataxic gait,
reduced spontaneous motor activity and depression…development of
respiratory disturbances leading to death.”…”depressed frog heart
PENTANE-Danger—Harmful if inhaled; extremely flammable. Keep away
from heat…Avoid breathing vapor.” “Inhalation of vapors may cause
headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and irritation of
respiratory tract and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation
of vapors may cause central nervous system depression. Contact
can cause eye irritation. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis
Do Fabric Softeners Make You Sick?
Exposure can result from the outgassing of vented dryers or from
treated fabrics (e.g., clothes, sheets, towels), which are in close
proximity to you. Questions to ponder:
*Have you been enjoying a walk in the neighborhood and found you have
suddenly fallen without realizing why?
*Do you get a numb feeling in the side of your face—and the doctors
can’t find the reason?
*Do you get a sudden onset of dizziness or a headache?
*Fabric softeners, like other fragrant products, contain
petrochemicals, used in untested combination. These chemicals can
adversely affect the central nervous system (CNS)—your brain and spine.
*CNS exposure symptoms include: aphasia, blurred vision,
disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger memory loss, numbness in
face, pain in neck and spine.
*CNS disorders include: Alzheimer’s Disease, Attention Deficit
Disorder, Dementia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Multiple Sclerosis,
Parkinson’s Disease, Seizures, Strokes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
*If you use fabric softens liquid or sheets STOP
Save the container as evidence—doctors can request analysis.
If made ill by fabric softener used by another person give product name
if known. Provide a description of your symptoms.
Take this paper to your doctor to help document your symptoms.
Some information on this web site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The information on this web site or in emails is designed for educational purposes only and should not
be taken as professional medical advice. I am not a medical doctor and this information is not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. With all medical conditions consult a qualified medical professional.
Web site and all
© Copyright Cynthia
2007, All rights reserved.