Clean Burst of D
Just after Thanksgiving I needed laundry detergent. I usually get the Seventh Generation in the recyclable cardboard container, but I didn’t see it at the Shoppers supermarket. They did have Arm and Hammer, but unfortunately I grabbed a plastic container with a blue cap instead of the clear cap my wife uses at our house. Clear cap is their fragrance-free Essentials. Blue cap turned out to be their Clean Burst product.
On Skype my wife told me to take it back, but I figured I’d just pay more attention the next time. Bad move. Within a few weeks I noticed a musty smell throughout the apartment. I had recently cleaned out moldy dryer lint, and at first I thought there was a new growth somewhere, but it was actually the perfume from the Clean Burst. The stuff is pervasive. On a holiday visit, as soon as I walked in the door at our house both my wife and stepson complained about the smell surrounding me. He is immune-compromised and very sensitive to perfumes and chemicals wafting into our yard from neighboring dryer vents. She washed my clothing repeatedly – rinsing with vinegar – and got some of the smell out.
But Clean Burst was also irritating to my skin. When I wore freshly-laundered clothing, I felt wisps of something across my face and hands. Later I felt pinpricks as if something was breaking out of, or into, my skin. Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives Clean Burst a D rating with moderate concerns for cancer, respiratory effects and skin irritation. The Arm and Hammer Essentials perfume-free version my wife uses gets a C rating, but thought it had no awful smell, I still felt some irritation from the clothing she laundered.
Though I never had a reaction to it, EWG also gives the Seventh Generation liquid detergent I used before a D rating – though for different concerns. EWG’s top ratings go to products I haven’t used, but will certainly try.