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the fresh smell of clean laundry? Be careful - you may just be snorting
Analysis of the captured gases found more than 25 volatile organic
compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the
vents. Of those, two chemicals -- acetaldehyde and benzene -- are classified
by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the
agency has established no safe exposure level.
"These products can affect not only personal health, but
also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the
air, down the drain and into water bodies," Steinemann said.
The researchers estimate that in the Seattle area, where the study
was conducted, acetaldehyde emissions from this brand of laundry detergent
would be equivalent to 3 percent of the total acetaldehyde emissions
coming from automobiles. Emissions from the top five brands, they estimate,
would constitute about 6 percent of automobiles' acetaldehyde emissions.