Thread Number: 63470  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Checking the labels on cleaning products
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Post# 860519   1/7/2016 at 05:58 (1,042 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

aquacycle's profile picture
Hi folks,

As part of some research for my eco cleaning blog, I was asked some questions about fabric softenrs. When looking into it, I found an ingredient called 2-BROMO-2-NITROPROPANE-1,3-DIOL". Now, I'm not a scientist and I had no idea what this is, so I had to do some research.

Turns out, it's an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. It acts as a preservative but is widely acknowledged as an irritant for skin, lungs and eyes.

Now, I know green cleaning isn't for everyone and many people prefer to use your average shop bought cleaning sprays and chemicals, but if nothing else, please check the labels on what you're bringing into your homes and exposing yourselves to.


Post# 860529 , Reply# 1   1/7/2016 at 07:37 (1,042 days old) by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

mrboilwash's profile picture
Not an expert myself, but AFAIK formaldeyde releasers like Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin and so on are very seldom to find these days in the EU (while still perfectly legal to use), but in most cases have been replaced with other preservatives because of their potential carciogenicity.
In the US they still seem to be very popular and common.
At the moment Parabenes are on the black list for cosmetics, but have not seen one case where a manufacturer went back to formaldehyde releasers.

Most liquid products have to contain toxic biocides, otherwise they`d go off within a few days. Only few products like liquid drain cleaner, perfume and so on don`t need extra preservatives because of their extreme pH or high alcohol content for example.

I wouldn`t worry too much about preservatives of any kind in a detergent or fabric softener unless I were allergic to a particular chemical.
Just think about the dilution factor!
On the other hand I wouldn`t like to frequently use a product like a moisturizer that is left on the skin without rinsing if it contained questionable ingredients.

Just out of curiosity, which FS exactly are we discussing ?

Post# 860542 , Reply# 2   1/7/2016 at 08:32 (1,042 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

aquacycle's profile picture
So far, I've found it in 2 shop-brand softeners here in the UK. Tesco's own and Asda's specific "childrens" softener, which is supposed to be gentle and safe for kids.

Post# 860544 , Reply# 3   1/7/2016 at 08:37 (1,042 days old) by aegokocarat (Cearphily county South Wales)        

aegokocarat's profile picture
Actually Chris, its also in all of the other Asda softeners as well (to my knowledge anyway)
It was in the Sensitive one I bought in the summer too.

Post# 860545 , Reply# 4   1/7/2016 at 08:38 (1,042 days old) by AquaCycle (West Yorkshire, UK)        

aquacycle's profile picture
The other one to look out for is this - Benzyl Salicylate. This is in Lenor softeners and those awful unstoppables.


Post# 860564 , Reply# 5   1/7/2016 at 12:34 (1,042 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
If you want to avoid preservatives in laundry products

launderess's profile picture
Best go with powders where possible. Liquid detergents, fabric softeners and so forth must contain preservatives of some sort and in various amounts. Otherwise they'd have short shelf lives (manufacturer to warehouse to market) then at customer's home.

As it is many fabric softeners will start to go "off" in about a year or perhaps two. Obviously makers assume product will have been used by then, but still.

Have had bottles of Ecover and Tide FS turn into a congealed mess from, well let us just say long term storage. Since one does not use FS often that is what comes from allowing it to sit. Customer service representative at P&G/Downy after asking for serial number on bottle (which gives a date code, said that company gives about a two year shelf life for liquid fabric softeners.

Gormaldeyde proper was once the preservative of choice for many liquid products at least here in the USA. From health and beauty aides (shampoos, conditioners, etc..) to laundry products. However after a link was proven to causing cancer it was banned and or IIRC amounts restricted.

Hair dressers in particular were found to have elevated risks of cancer and it was linked to breathing in fumes from various formaldeyde hair care products all day. This recently played out in a big to-do over the Japanese and Brazilian blow-out/hair relaxer systems. Those imported products were found to contain increased levels of formaldeyde.

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