Cancer causing chemicals in laundry detergent

Don’t do another load of laundry until you read this warning:  your favorite laundry detergent may contain cancer causing chemicals and other toxins, posing a serious health risk to you and your family.  Stop exposing your family to hidden dangers – consider using a natural alternative to laundry detergent.

According to the University of Washington, the average laundry detergent contains cancer-causing chemicals that may be impacting the health of you and your family while you remain unaware. Its why more and more savvy, health conscious consumers are switching to safe, completely natural non-chemical laundry detergent alternatives.

In the study done by the University of Washington, 99% of laundry detergents were found to release cancer-causing chemicals that are legally hazardous and classified as toxic by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). These chemicals pass through our skin and enter the body and the blood stream, where they pose serious risks to our health.  We also breath them in when we handle detergent or come in contact with fabrics washed in detergent.

Moreover, a load of laundry releases humidity into the air in your home (up to 1/2 gallon of humidity per load of laundry, leaving behind all kinds of gunk in your air that you later inhale -including these cancer causing chemicals.

According to the University of Washington study, most of these toxic ingredients were not listed on the labels of the common detergents they tested.

These chemicals are so toxic that:

  • They cause cancer.
  • They are used as a key ingredient in pesticides and are used to kill insects.
  • They have the ability to cause breast cancer and create other hormonal disturbances because they mimic the hormone estrogen.
  • When these chemicals pass through your skin and enter your blood steam they can cause serious damage to your body.
  • The Journal of Pesticide Reform shows strong evidence that these chemicals cause severe damage to heart and muscle function.

Because of these toxic laundry detergent health effects, more and more savvy consumers are turning to natural laundry detergent alternatives  or eco friendly laundry detergent alternatives. Health conscious consumers are concerned about cancer causing chemicals in laundry detergent – and with good reason.

What most people still don’t realize is that most commercial laundry detergents today contain toxic carcinogens. Toxic means poisonous, and carcinogen means something that causes cancer. In other words, the laundry detergent you are using to get your clothes clean and smelling fresh ironically contains toxic substances (the furthest thing from “clean”) which are very hazardous to your health and cause cancer.

So every time you do the laundry or wear the clothes you’ve washed, your exposing yourself and your family to cancer causing chemicals. Smart consumers naturally find that very disturbing.  You may love the smell of your favorite laundry detergent, but its not worth the risks to your health, including cancer.

According to studies, a full 1/3 of all scented detergents contain at least 1 chemical flagged by the EPA as potentially causing cancer. And surprisingly, unscented detergents didn’t score much better.

On average, toxic laundry detergent products emit 17 toxins that go unlisted on the label, and which can cause problems ranging from skin irritations to serious neurological damage.  Just one of the common detergent ingredients alone has been shown to cause brain toxicity, nervous system impairment, liver disease, kidney disease, respiratory failure, immune system malfunction, and hormone disruption.

Read on for more details on the exact cancer-causing chemicals contained in most laundry detergents.

A Non-Chemical, Safe Alternative to Laundry Detergent

One innovative company has developed an entirely safe technology for getting clothes clean that doesn’t use even a drop of chemicals.  Laundry “magnets” only need to be purchased once and can be re-used for a lifetime every time you do the wash, which also results in a huge savings on the cost of those toxic chemical laden detergents.

Detergent companies would like you to believe that it’s chemicals that clean your laundry. However, detergent or soap on its own does not clean clothes – you need to add water.

Scientists explain that it’s actually WATER that cleans your clothes. Water is the most powerful element on earth. What did people clean with before soap even existed? Water.

Detergent and soap only changes the surface tension of the water and helps the water molecules become more effective and spaced out and slippery to pull the dirt and grime off dirty clothes. This is why soap and detergent has that “slippery/oily” feel. This process is called chemical saponification.

The side-effects are, of course, all the toxic chemicals used in the process.

A new technology has emerged for getting laundry clean without the need for those chemicals. Using magnets, of all things, this natural method of cleaning performs the exact same function as detergent, except by using magnetism. The water molecule is already a highly magnetic molecule with a positive and negative charge. When water rotates with these specially designed laundry magnets, the surface tension of the water tension changes, and the water starts cleaning more effectively, the same as with laundry detergents.

These laundry magnets went through rigorous independent lab testing by one of the largest testing companies in the world, Shuster Laboratories (Changed name to UL Consumer Products). A report issued by the lab verifies unequivocally that the magnetic system does indeed very effectively clean laundry and does not damage colors or the tensile strength of your fabrics (no shrinking, stretching or weakening of fibers). The technology is also verified by two patents.

The magnet scan be used in any type of washing machine, regardless of whether it is front loading or top loading.

On top of all of that, this natural alternative to laundry detergent will save you substantially on the cost of doing laundry because you buy the magnets once and never have to buy them again.  They have a 50 year life time of use!  (The manufacturer’s warranty is 50 years. Compared with normal detergent, this saves you thousands of dollars over the years).

So this natural laundry detergent alternative saves you money (never have to buy laundry detergent again, plus you never again have to deal with running out of detergent when you need to do the wash), involves no chemicals or toxins of any type and is 100% safe, and lasts a life time. What’s not to love here?

The laundry magnets are available here.

Most laundry detergents today contain one or more of these cancer causing ingredients (carcinogens):

Nonylphenol Ethoxylate

This is a common ingredient in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners. It bioaccumulates in the environment and has widespread effects on marine life. Additionally, it is disrupts the endocrine system ih humans and animals, outting us all at risk, and making it especally dangerous to people vulnerable to breast cancer or other estrogen-linked cancers. Fr this reason it is already banned in Europe but still widely found in detergents in the USA and Canada.


Many commercial laundry detergents contain artificial colors, which the Environmental Working Group has identified as a cancer risk. Some of these colors include: 4-methylimidazole, imidazole, 2-methylimidazole and FURAN, all of which the organization indicates are “known to cause cancer” or “may cause cancer.”


Many laundry detergents contain chemicals that are used to stabilize the products; however, they have been linked to a low to moderate cancer risk, depending on the specific types and quantities used.

1, 4-Dioxane

This toxic chemical is heavily used in many detergents. Multiple studies confirm Dioxane is cancer causing.

 Alcohol Ethoxylates

Depending on the concentration of this chemical, the EWG lists it as causing “some concern” for cancer risk.

If you’re not sure whether the laundry products you use contain carcinogens, be sure to check out the EWG’s database of thousands of common products.

Below are some of the most common laundry products along with the letter grade they received using the EWG’s grading system for their overall health (including cancer causing effects) and negative environmental effects. You may notice that many of the “scent-free,” “free & clear,” or “gentle” options are actually rated just as poorly (and sometimes worse) as the scented varieties.

Below are some of the most popular laundry detergents and their ratings – what’s really striking is that even many of the so-called “natural” laundry detergents are still not safe, based on the grade they received.  The best natural laundry detergent alternative is to use no detergent at all

Cheer Bright CLEAN Powdered Laundry Detergent—Free & Gentle: D

Downy Ultra Concentrated Fabric Softener: D

Downy Ultra with Febreze Liquid Fabric Softener—Spring & Renewal: D

Gain Liquid Detergent with Freshlock, Lavender: D

Gain Ultra Powder Detergent with Febreze Freshness—Original: D

Tide Liquid Detergent plus Downy HE—April Fresh: D

Tide plus Bleach Alternative—Original: D

Tide Pods—Free & Gentle: D

Cheer brightCLEAN HE Liquid Laundry Detergent—Free & Gentle: F

Downy Ultra Concentrated Fabric Softener—Free & Sensitive: F


Here are some products that received an “A:”

Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Baby Laundry Detergent: A

Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Liquid: A

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap, Baby Unscented: A (Dr. Bronner’s Rose or Almond products received a B)

Ecover ZERO Laundry Liquid Concentrate: A or B (there are 2 different versions of this product)


Here are some products that are marketed as natural and received Bs or Cs:

Ecover Laundry Powder ZERO: B

Green Works Naturally Derived Oxi Stain Remover: B

Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda: B

Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent Packs—Mandarin & Sandalwood: B

Ultra Purex Powder Detergent with Renuzit, Mountain Breeze—B

Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Laundry Detergent Pods—Unscented: B

Arm & Hammer Essentials 2X Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent—Free of Perfume & Dye: C

Arm & Hammer Powder Laundry Detergent, Free of Perfume & Dye: C

Citra Solve Citra-Solve Citra Suds Liquid Laundry Detergetn—Valencia Orange: C

Nature Clean Liquid Laundry, Unscented: C

Purex Classic Powder, Original Fresh: C

Seventh Generation Natural 4X Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear: C

Natural Laundry Detergent Alternative

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