Dryer sheets are one of the most lethal of triggers for people with MCS and are not good for anyone. I quickly retreated inside to get my mask. I switched to a new one and fitted the washable outside piece with two charcoal filters for insurance, and put my eye goggles on before I went back out. I'd just begun mixing up a new batch of milk paint to test the color of the trim and decided to finish the mix before leaving Pete outside. It doesn't take more than a very few minutes to be over-saturated by the toxins.
As I write this piece I have a slight head-ache in my forehead and feel the hazy remnant of the 'brain fog' that is a symptom of an exposure like this. I use a nasal inhaler filled with Glutathione for episodes like this.(stopping to give myself a second dose of spray). The prescribed supplement helps to restore my brain cells after an exposure to the chemicals that make up a dryer sheet. I also use glutathione in a nebulizer to build my system's ability to respond to immune system and brain function break-down. To learn more about glutathione's potential healing affects for you please find an Environmental Physician who specializes in the care of folks with MCS. Between writing I took a nap with my portable c.d. player and my RELAXATION QIGONG tape. I played the "Four Route Relaxation" exercise I usually reserve for going to sleep at night. Today I decided to try clearing the spent qi that was affected by the smell of dryer sheets using that twenty-five minute exercise. It was very calming.
For the record, here's a list of chemicals found in a dryer sheet:
Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
Limonene: Known carcinogen
A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic (this is the stuff used to embalm!)
Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
"The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling -- so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances (think 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. Furthermore, synthetic fabrics, which are the reason fabric softeners were created in the first place, do not smell good either when heated in a dryer or heated by our bodies ... hence the need for even more hefty fragrances. In other words, remove all the added fragrance that endears people to fabric softeners and -- like the cliché wolf in sheep's clothing -- the real smells of the chemical-laced fabric softener and the synthetic fabrics they were designed around may prompt people to shoot their laundry machines and be done with it."
- A excerpt from a post from GLOBAL HEALTH CENTER FORUM: http://www.ghchealth.com/forum/post-325.html
There are alternatives to using fabric softeners and dryer sheets
1. DON'T USE THEM.
2. Add 1/2 c. or more of baking soda to soften clothes and clean without laundry detergent.
3. Use an unscented and unmasked detergent. We use BIO-KLEEN Free and Clear laundry detergent.
4. Put a small amount of 'safe for you' unscented hair conditioner on a piece of cotton fabric that is already clear and safe, toss it into your dryer with your laundered clothing.
Do you have any other free and clear methods that work for you? Share them here. Thanks so much. Every dryer sheet and fabric softener left on the shelves is one less toxin in the air ... tell your retailer you'd like to see them stop stocking them.
Building a safe place means knowing what you're trying to protect yourself against. It's a daily reality for the MCS Tribe. Do your part to make toxins tougher to get at ... educate yourself and take action.
A hui hou, Mokihana