• Rob Stecker

Tired of Hearing That Something You Like Causes You Harm?

Updated: Feb 25, 2018

We hear it all the time, this or that gives you cancer, makes you fat, gives you headaches, destroys your Liver, etc. etc. Then of course, 5 years later it is a different story about something else. This is frustrating and tiresome and we all start to believe it is just noise. The issue itself is completely drowned out by the rush to extremes and lack of facing the awkward.


The truth that underlies all the reports and articles is that the harm to you from these things is purely about exposure and how your body will process and be affected by it. This of course is not the dramatic image the writer wishes for you to imagine nor produces the immediate action the group supporting whatever viewpoint wants you to take.

So, bottom line is there danger that these things can harm you or your children? The answer is yes, the seriousness and timeline for affect however is different for all of us. Why? Each one of us human beings are individually created and none of us are identical. At any given moment the different systems in our bodies that control our health, the way we feel and our emotions, all operate at different levels of maturity and effectiveness. Each of us are exposed daily to hundreds of different environmental factors ranging from other people and the bacteria and illness they may be carrying to the countless numbers of chemicals in food, clothing and products we use.

So, what makes it dangerous? Accumulated exposure and persistence of the substance within your body given the current level of health and strength of your bodies systems.

Now the awkward part. In your defense, in today’s first world societies there is no possible way for you to live 100% free of these environmental risks. However, it is 100% in your control as to how you decide to mange it in your life, the life of your spouse or partner and more importantly your children. Your children are critical because they will grow up in a far more toxic environment than you did, and your parents did. By you choosing to manage this with knowledge and responsible actions then your children will grow up mirroring the skills you demonstrate, and you will all be healthier for it. Your lifestyles will be more active, and you will effect change for generations to come. This is the AWKWARD part. It all requires that you make a choice, to act, continue to gather knowledge and do your best to make more informed choices. Yes, it is awkward because the responsibility rests with you not some government agency of corporation. They can’t, won’t and are not designed to effectively support and protect you and your family. It is not going to happen, and it never has. I know it is so much easier to simply live your life and believe that everything that is conveniently laid out for you to buy, use, eat, wear and it is all there with your personal best interests, health, welfare and safety accounted for. You don’t have to think about it. Yes, that is easier. But that is not the truth or in your best interests.


What can I do about it?


At the end of the day, it is your choice. Your legacy. The most reasonable path to take is for you to do the best you can with what you have and what you can control. Take some action, small or large but take it now. Start to by making little adjustments to your normal routines.


Try this step now. Stop using Fabric Softener.


Why, fabric softeners are a significant contributor to indoor air pollution. They emit a large amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), these are in the “Pleasant Smell” that fills the air with your fresh laundry. Additionally, the entire time your clothes are hanging up or folded in your drawers, they are “off-gassing” the process of the chemicals slowly leaving the fabric and entering the air that your breathing. An unfortunate juxtaposition.

Organic compounds are chemicals that contain carbon and are found in all living things. However Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases. Along with carbon, they contain elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulfur or nitrogen. Specific to liquid or sheet fabric softeners is the list below.

This is what you can eliminate from your home just by making a choice to stop using fabric softeners:


Chloroform: This substance was used as an anesthesia in the 1800s up through the early 1900s when its potential for causing fatal cardiac arrhythmia was discovered. A carcinogenic neurotoxin, it is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Inhaling its vapors may cause loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and/or dizziness, drowsiness. It may aggravate disorders of the heart, kidneys or liver. Its effects worsen when subjected to heat.

A-Terpineol: Causes Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, meaning problems relating to the brain and spine such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, strokes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Early symptoms of CNS problems include aphasia, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in neck and spine. A-Terpineol also irritates the mucous membranes and, if aspirated into the lungs, can cause respiratory depression, pneumonia or fatal edema.

Benzyl Alcohol: This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dramatic drops in blood pressure.

Benzyl Acetate: These substances have been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapors can be irritating to eyes and respiratory passages and it can also be absorbed through the skin.

Ethanol: Another fabric softener ingredient which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and linked to CNS disorders.

Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled.

Ethyl Acetate: This substance, which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list, can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It may also cause severe headaches and loss of consciousness, as well as damage to the liver and kidneys.

Camphor: Another substance on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. It is easily absorbed through body tissue, causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Camphor can also cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.

Phthalates: Used in scented products to help the scent last longer, phthalates have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive system problems.


Manufacturers are aware that the products contain toxic chemicals. The packaging on many brands include a warning that the product should not be used on children’s sleepwear. Since some of the same brands also have large images of children and toys, however, consumers may miss the small print message.

Many products on the market however do not list their use of the chemicals above on their boxes because they are not required to because of:

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – passed in 1976 in the US following a string of chemical scares in the late 1960s and early 1970s. TSCA was designed to regulate chemicals and gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to demand that industry keeps records on the chemicals it uses and produces, and to restrict their use.


Currently, tens of thousands of compounds have never been subject to safety tests because they were on the market before the law was passed in 1976. Approximately 62,000 chemicals already on the market were ‘grandfathered’ in when TSCA was enacted, and the new law had little power to investigate them. Tosca only requires that chemical manufacturers submit information about the production, use, exposure and environmental fate of new chemicals.


The government classifies most of the chemicals above in category of "generally recognized as safe". “Generally,” is not a very comforting term frankly.


Remember it is the repeated exposure over time that does the damage. The accumulation of affect in conjunction with the systemic health of your body that dictates how well you can expel the toxic effects or whether you may experience a significant health response to one of these elements that have accumulated in your system. So, the best to manage better health is by supporting/strengthening your own bodies systems and by limiting exposure to chemicals in your daily routine.


So, stop using fabric softeners today. There are alternatives.


Original Wellness is a team of people that continues to grow and provide support and alternatives for people making these choices every day. It is to much to carry alone, if you have questions and looking for people who have reasonable solutions contact us at https://www.originalwellness.net/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/Livingascreated/ or you can even email me directly at robstecker26@gmail.com


Here are just a few supporting studies for those inclined.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018511/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10872633

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greener-laundry/

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