Over the past few years, consumer demands have inspired more natural, eco-friendly food and beauty offerings. Home care products, however, seem to be lagging a bit further behind, and many people still associate names like Febreze and Cascade with a clean home.
While old-school cleaning products may be effective, many of them contain hazardous ingredients or contaminants. This risk is especially pronounced in the laundry room, which can be filled with chemicals that irritate eyes, skin, and airways and offer little in the way of ingredient transparency.
According to Samara Geller, a database and research analyst at the Environmental Working Group, 1,4-Dioxane is one of the most dangerous of these compounds. "You won't find the probable carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane if you're scanning the label, but it may be lurking as an impurity," she tells mindbodygreen. "It's unintentionally formed during the manufacturing of ethoxylated surfactants, such as those found in laundry detergents. 1,4-Dioxane was also announced last week as one of the first ten priority chemicals the EPA intends to evaluate for risk to human and environmental health under newly reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation."
Here are a few more ingredients that Geller warns could be hiding in your detergents, fabric softeners, or stain removers: