Should You Be Worried About Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum in Dryer Sheets?

Today, people are more conscious of the ingredients and materials that go into the products they use. Everybody wants to know that the products they bring home aren’t a danger to themselves or their loved ones. Whether it’s food, the paint on their walls, or even the materials they use on their laundry.

Speaking of laundry, one particular ingredient has really made people worry. That ingredient is Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum. That name is a mouthful to say, so from here on we’ll refer to it as DH. Here are some facts about DH and whether or not you should be worried about it.

What DH Is Best Known For

The most commonly used item to contain Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum is fabric softening dryer sheets. This is because DH works as an antistatic agent while also working as a softener.

The Simple Answer about Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum

If you want the simple answer as to whether or not DH is harmful, it’s basically “no.” The Consumer Product Safety Commission has deemed its presence to be harmless when used correctly. The presence of certain chemical additives that give dryer sheets more desirable fragrances can be harmful as they contain volatile organic compounds. These volatile organic compounds can cause numerous symptoms such as:

  • Migraines
  • Sneezing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Irritability of airways and eyes

However, Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum is not one of the offending ingredients, as far as anybody knows. There is some controversy around the supposed safety of dryer sheets, but DH is not the chief concern. However, that is a simplified answer. It goes somewhat deeper.

The Not-So-Simple Answer

If you scour the internet, you will find a large number of health-conscious bloggers talking about dryer sheets. The primary focus is on whether or not they’re safe to use, and there is almost always a recommended alternative. DH is one ingredient that is usually highlighted. This isn’t because it’s dangerous, but because we don’t know for sure if it’s dangerous.

The big problem with the presence of DH in dryer sheets is that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has deemed DH to be harmless, but their results have never fully been explained. The CPSC does not require manufacturers to disclose their ingredients on the packaging. This leads many who are more prone to believe in conspiracy theories to believe the worst.

What Can Be Inferred?

Is all of this to say that Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum is harmless to you? Not exactly. The science backing DH’s relative safety to consumers has never been released. However, we can know some things with a degree of certainty.

First of all, there are enough ingredients that are proven to be irritants, even carcinogenic. However, these ingredients, including DH, are not applied to the human body. They are applied to clothing.

We also know that no two businesses are alike. The CPSC does not require companies to disclose the materials that go into their products on the packaging. Some companies disclose their materials. Other companies disclose the main materials. And then some companies disclose no materials. Because of this, it can be hard to find which brands of dryer sheets to buy. (You can make homemade dryer sheets.)

For example, the makers of Bounce brand dryer sheets comply with International Fragrance Association standards. There are other alternatives on the internet that you can find which can alleviate your worries about chemicals. It certainly seems that a lot of the commotion about dryer sheet ingredients seems to be part of a marketing strategy more than a legitimate concern.

So what is the truth?

It should be said that more concrete scientific evidence needs to be done. That way the topic can finally be put to rest with conclusive evidence. As best as anybody can tell, the DH in your dryer sheets is relatively safe. It would appear that the real problem with dryer sheet use lies in the additives that give dryer sheets their strong fragrances. For most people dryer sheets are fine to use. If you want to be totally on the safe side, then looking for an alternative is recommended.

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