In a 1991 study, chloroform was found in tests of fabric
(“The Health Risks of Twenty Most Common Chemicals Found in Thirty-One Fragrance Products,” www.herc.org - Health and Environmental Resource Center, 2002)
Fabric softeners contain some of the most toxic chemicals
(like chloroform, benzyl acetate and pentane) that are known to cause cancer
and/or damage to lungs, brain, and nerves. These chemicals are even more
dangerous when heated in a clothes dryer. The toxic fumes then go into the
neighborhood air and everyone for blocks around is forced to breathe them in.
Babies, children, older people, and people who are already sick are especially
hurt by these chemicals, and the damage can be permanent, causing lifelong
illness. Most fabric softeners have fragrance added to them, which makes them
even more toxic. To soften fabrics and reduce static cling, add a cup or more
of plain baking soda to each wash.
(“What’s Wrong With Fabric Softeners,” Neighborhood Health Notice! www.ourlittleplace.com - April 2002)