New scare: Scented laundry products and dryer vents

“I tawt I taw a chemical,” seems to be University of Washington “researcher” Anne Steinemann’s modus operandi.

Her latest anti-fragrance study reports finding “over 25 VOCs… [in] dryer vent emissions, including seven HAPs and two probable carcinogens.”

Steinemann claims,

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.

But exposure, let alone mere detection, is not toxicity and Steinemann offers no evidence that these emissions actually affect anyone’s health or the environment in any meaningful way.

She also associates herself with the last remaining vestiges of the discredited multiple chemical sensitivity scare crowd, and so carries anti-chemical agenda baggage.

6 thoughts on “New scare: Scented laundry products and dryer vents”

  1. Has anyone read the EPA-IRIS assessment of acetaldehyde? It is a classic EPA stretch of nothing into something. The exaggerations and extrapolations from no adverse response at relatively high concentrations EPA used to claim to have found adverse responses at low concentrations are breathtaking. See http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0290.htm

  2. At least at my district-level science fair, this would be lower-level analysis than any Junior High kids who would hope to win the fair and move to State or National levels.

    The first question is why they didn’t follow EPA test method procedures. The summa canister was the correct container, but it should have been in a proper collection system, or at least sitting in the vent line. Putting it in the dryer exhaust invites dilution. Then, they “Generally followed the guidelines” of TO-15. You either do a test method or you don’t. Half-doing it doesn’t cut it for quality reports. Finally, the beverage can test for entrained VOCs requires 3 days to equilibrate, not “at least 24 hours”.

    They claim a detection limit of 2 micrograms/m^3 for the dryer vent. That’s 1 ppb. At that detection limit, contaminati0n from the last sample in your GC is a HUGE issue. I routinely get detections at this level of completely random substances that we know are not present. This ignores their admissions in the abstract that the measured acetaldehyde reading was only 25 times ambient air at 15 ppb, yet they then reference the “no safe exposure level”.

    Pardon me if I vomit in disgust

  3. What they want is for us to be able to generate electricity off of static cling, thus bringing us another renewable energy source.

    Too many “coulds” “maybes” and “mights” to keep me up worrying about it all.

  4. I am not sure how many Chinese will be able to dry their cloths in dryers as of right now. However, I think the Chinese government is building 12 coal fired electric generating plants a year so in 20 years, oh lets not think about the thousands of tons of fabric softener scented products that will be used by the newly electrified Chinese population of about 1,000,000,000 people, mostly men and a few women.

  5. They held 500 ml bottles under dryer vents at two residential homes, “captured” what they assert were pure dryer emissions, and subjected the bottled emissions to chemical analysis.

    OK, I think the scientific objective was not too tragic, but this sounds like something that one might do for a high school science fair, minus the analytic horsepower.

    Definitely a gateway to future EPA research grants as we proceed toward a fabric softener-free and dryer sheet-free America.

    Meanwhile the Chinese will continue to have clean and soft garments.

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