What Is Crisp And Red, But Not An Apple?

I do not like to iron clothing, it has always been my least favorite household chore.  Erma Bombeck once said “My second favorite household chore is ironing.  My first favorite being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint”, I agree with her wholeheartedly!  Unfortunately there are times when ironing is necessary,  I certainly don’t want the D-Man going out wearing a shirt that looks like he wore it to bed.  On a recent rainy day I decided to break out the ironing board, iron, and a new bottle of organic sizing to press the clothing that was beginning to pile up.   But, have you ever wondered about the ingredients in that bottle or can of “Starch”, you guessed it, gluten!  The next day we went out, and while the D-Man looked crisp and handsome, he wriggled all day long.  It did not dawn on me that his “itchy witchy’s” were caused by the organic sizing I had dutifully sprayed on his shirt the day before.  It was not until the shirt was removed that evening that I realized that his skin was bright red, and he was covered with angry welts!

Most of us are in a hurry when we run to the store; we grab the best buy or our favorite brand.  Rarely do we think about the ingredients in a can of starch or sizing, and typically they are not listed.  Currently there are no regulatory requirements in the United States for companies to disclose ingredients in cleaning/household products.  Very few companies do list ingredients, opting instead to meet the minimum disclosure requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency.  This is great for Big Business, but not so great for the Consumer.   This gap in public disclosure makes it extremely difficult to evaluate both the health and environmental impacts of household products we use.

A single phone call to the manufacturer of my organic sizing provided full disclosure of ingredients, and I was able to determine that corn and wheat starches were used in the product, (albeit a little to late for the D-Man).  I then decided to dig a little deeper, what was in the bottles of starch/sizing that lined the shelves in a typical market?  As my husband noted these cleaning and laundry products are sealed tightly, but you can smell them 3 aisles away!  The following is what I found lurking in one of the largest manufacturers spray starch:

Triclosan: This ingredient is suspected of causing immunotoxicity, according to sources compiled by Scorecard (www.scorecard.org).  This ingredient is suspected of causing skin or sense organ toxicity.  The ingredient is a Substance of Very High Concern, according to the European Union’s REACH program, and should be replaced by safer alternatives.

2-Propanol:   This ingredient is authoritatively classified as “known to be neurotoxic in man,” according to the medical literature (Article by P Grandjean and PJ Landrigan in the Lancet).  This ingredient is suspected of causing respiratory toxicity, neurotoxicity, kidney toxicity, and skin or sense organ toxicity.

Acrylic Acid:  This ingredient is suspected of causing immunotoxicity, and respiratory toxicity.

Aluminum Oxide: This ingredient is authoritatively classified as “known to be neurotoxic in man,” according to the medical literature (Article by P Grandjean and PJ Landrigan in the Lancet).  This ingredient is suspected of causing asthma, according to the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, and is suspected of causing neurotoxicity.

Diethylene Glycol:   This ingredient is again classified as “known to be neurotoxic in man”.  The ingredient is also suspected of causing kidney toxicity, reproductive toxicity, and developmental toxicity.

Phosphorus: This ingredient is extremely potent via ingestion and capable of causing adverse effects at very low doses.  It is suspected of causing neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, musculoskeletal toxicity, cardiovascular or blood toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin or sense organ toxicity, and respiratory toxicity.

Sulfuric Acid:  This ingredient is suspected of causing respiratory toxicity, skin or sense organ toxicity, and is suspected of causing asthma.

Methyl Isobutyl Ketone:  Is “known to be neurotoxic in man,” according to the medical literature (Article by P Grandjean and PJ Landrigan in the Lancet).  This ingredient is suspected of causing neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity, respiratory toxicity, developmental toxicity, and skin or sense organ toxicity.

Boric Acid:  This ingredient is suspected of causing reproductive toxicity, according to sources compiled by Scorecard (www.scorecard.org)
This ingredient has been restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada.
This ingredient has been restricted in cosmetics use by the European Union.
This ingredient has been banned for use in cosmetics in Japan.

 While I still dislike ironing, I will now make my own sizing from water and tapioca starch.  This combination will be safe for the D-Man and safe for our environment.

Stay Crisp and Gluten Free,
Laura

Household Products

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1 response to What Is Crisp And Red, But Not An Apple?


  1. Kathryn Blair

    Please provide recipe for sizing! I miss spray sizing and starch for some clothes. Nice to have an alternative. 😉

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