I was returning from a midday run at my local green-space when cutting down the back-alley to my residential office I caught wind of fabric softener from someone’s dryer. Although I found it to be a reasonable scent with no identifiable fragrance or flavor (Vanilla, Orange, Lavender) it made me wonder…
If I can smell it, then teeny particles of “something” (likely chemicals) were floating around in the air… and I was breathing it.
Second-hand-laundry-vent! Ha! Well… what if it was dangerous? What if it was damaging my environment? My nice park? My AIR!??? In the same way that second-hand smoke laws protect us by placing restrictions on areas where nicotine devotees can “light-up” (On a trip to visit the at the Hospital recently I noticed patients, complete with IV poles and wheelchairs, sitting huddled outside the entrance. They were only 8 feet from a sign that read “No smoking with-in 50 feet”)
Back at my desk still in mud cuffed pants (the trails were mucky today from hail and rain yesterday) I booted up Google and found the following answers:
Washing Clothes With Less Environmental Impact Great article on Eco and Clothes safe laundry complete with recipe for making your own soap with vinegar rinse.
Earth Friendly Clothes Washing Longer and more detailed information.
Here’s what the EPA has to say about laundry products. Note that this posting is from May 1999.
Besides the impact of the soap and softener, there are other factors to consider too…
The style and age of the appliances
Water and energy use (gas and/or electric)
Pollution into the waterways, (treatment plants or sewer)
Wear on clothing…
Stuff to think about.