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UW Study: Avoid scented laundry detergent

You might love the way your laundry detergent makes your clothes smell, but that sent could be hazardous.

A new study out of the University of Washington found that scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents.

"I found seven hazardous air pollutants," said Professor Anne Steinemann, the lead researcher. "I also found two hazardous chemicals, acetaldehyde and benzene, that are classified as carcinogens and for which the EPA has established no safe exposure level."

Steinemann said emissions from dryer vents are essentially unmonitored and unregulated. She recommends avoiding scented laundry products altogether.

"Another approach is go back to what our grandparent's used, which is use baking soda and vinegar to launder products," she recommended. "And do we really need dryer sheets for our clothing? So we can think about taking more simple approaches rather than using a bunch of scented products."

Exposure to the fumes, she said, can cause dizziness, headaches, asthma attacks and skin rashes.

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About the Author

Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.


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