Buckaroo Organics

Are Your Clothes Really Clean? By Lindsay Herron, founder of Buckaroo Organics

We have seen major gains in the industry with awareness around chemicals and ingredients that are causing serious health concerns and illnesses. Awareness in the food and skin care industry is on the rise, but what about the products we use in our home? Products we don’t necessarily apply to our skin or consume. What chemicals are hiding in your laundry room that could be stealthily leaching poisons into the earth and leaving harmful residues on your clothing. The residues are then absorbed into your skin all day long making laundry detergent a key player in toxic products to be aware of.


The average family washes approximately 80 pounds of laundry per week. In the United States, alone, that’s roughly 35 billion loads of laundry each year. This equates to 17.5 billion cups of laundry detergent moving through OUR homes! Some residue clings to our favorite jeans and bed sheets, being absorbed by our skin. The rest is being discharged into our water systems and eventually finding its way into our ecosystem.

Who are these toxic culprits, you ask? The following are the 4 worst compounds commonly found in leading brand detergents.

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) & sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): Both are inexpensive and very effective foaming agents, which is why they are used in many leading brands. They work great as detergents…but at a price to our health. Research studies on SLS have shown links to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes along with possible mutations and cancers.
2. 1, 4-dioxane: This one is a known carcinogen, found to cause cancer and  be potentially toxic to your brain, central nervous system, kidneys, liver and respiratory system. Two-thirds of all laundry detergent contain some level of 1, 4-dioxane. Water filters cannot remove it. It resists natural biodegradable processes, is harmful to people and the ecosystem as it pollutes our water supplies.
3. NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate ): An inexpensive, nonionic surfactant frequently used in laundry detergents. NPE is an endocrine disruptor due to its ability to mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s natural hormonal balance. Once absorbed the body can’t tell the difference between NPE and estrogen. Exposure to NPE has also been associated with increased levels of breast cancers.
4. Phosphates: These tend to be the principle cleaning ingredient in many detergents and household cleaners. They are designed to break down dirt particles and remove stains by softening the water. However, they create environmental hazards when discharged in great volumes into our water. Phosphates are difficult to remove from wastewater and often end up in rivers and lakes, where they increase algae growth and choke off waterways.

And as if the four compounds listed above weren’t enough of a concern, there are others that add to our laundry list of harmful ingredients found in leading brand detergents:
Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates (LAS) – a.k.a. anionic surfactants
Petroleum distillates (a.k.a. naphthas) – linked to cancer
Phenols – can cause toxicity throughout the entire body
Optical brighteners – cause bacterial mutations and allergic reactions, and can be toxic to fish
Sodium hypochlorite – bleach
EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate) – a persistent organic pollutant
Artificial fragrances – linked to various toxic effects on fish and animals, as well as allergic reactions in humans.

I know most of us don’t think of laundry detergent much past adding it to our shopping lists and looking for a jug that’s on sale. Our hope is to change that mindset to one that is more aware and conscious. Many of the ingredients in detergents are KNOWN irritants, highly likely carcinogens, and pollute and damage our water systems. It’s our mission to create a safe environment with products that are safe and effective.

Use code GLOWING20 for 20% off, valid now until June 30th 2016


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