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Hello. I am by no means a science expert. Just a really worried mom hoping to get some information from people who know a thing or two about chemistry and perhaps it’s effects on the human body. 

I recently read a report where one of the laundry detergents I have been using for my baby’s clothes contains 10,000 ppb of 1,4 dioxane, which is apparently the maximum amount recommended as considered “safe” in these types of household products. 

Based on the fact that I’ve been using it since my child was born, I’m nervous that this is a significant amount for a child. I know it can be absorbed via skin or inhalation amongst other ways. 

Does anyone know how much would actually be absorbed? Is my child actually at risk for increased chance of cancer? I’ve obviously since switched detergents but used it for just over a year with her. I used it before as well, during pregnancy and beyond. 

I should note that I would rinse clothes in the washer twice. Does this help “dilute” the amount of dioxane one could be exposed to? Does it evaporate and dissipate when clothes are dried?

Again, I know so little so I ask. My questions might seem crazy. I’m a new parent and this has really freaked me out. I don’t want to put my child at an increased risk of something serious health wise because of a darned laundry detergent. I know dioxane is something we see exposed to daily, but at this time I am just referring to the laundry detergent. 

Any insight would be great to put things into perspective for a worried mom. Thanks a lot!

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If the only source is laundry detergent, I'd not worry.

Dioxane is roughly as volatile as water so, any that isn't rinsed away is likely to evaporate when clothes are dried.

 

I'd imagine that , with considerable care, and good analytical chemistry you might be able to show that there was some tiny trace left behind but 10,000 ppb Is already not much.

Ten parts in a million is a thousandth of one percent. 

That's before you dilute it in the washing water, then rinse it, then dry it.
 

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37 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

If the only source is laundry detergent, I'd not worry.

Dioxane is roughly as volatile as water so, any that isn't rinsed away is likely to evaporate when clothes are dried.

 

I'd imagine that , with considerable care, and good analytical chemistry you might be able to show that there was some tiny trace left behind but 10,000 ppb Is already not much.

Ten parts in a million is a thousandth of one percent. 

That's before you dilute it in the washing water, then rinse it, then dry it.
 

Thank you kindly. That sounds a lot less worrisome then what some of these articles are saying. One thinks that it automatically means cancer! But that’s google for you. 
 

Is the inhalation of 1,4 dioxane more of a concern? If say, using a cleaning agent that has a similar amount? Or does most of it evaporate rapidly?

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4 hours ago, curiousv said:

I recently read a report where one of the laundry detergents I have been using for my baby’s clothes contains 10,000 ppb of 1,4 dioxane, which is apparently the maximum amount recommended as considered “safe” in these types of household products.

I don't know, but it is possible that the person who wrote that is confusing "can contain" (is allowed to contain) and "can contain" (may actually contain). It seems odd that it would just happen to contain the maximum permissible amount.

Anyway, the "safe limit" is determined as a level that is significantly below what can potentially cause harm. And then, as John says, it will be diluted and dispersed before it gets anywhere near the child.

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