A new story published on Apartment Therapy points out that dryer sheets are coated with a chemical lubricant called quaternary ammonium compounds(QACS), which is known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and irritate skin, and has been linked to cancer and reproductive issues.
QACS, which is also commonly used in cleaning products, imparts on clothing to give a smoother feel. But the chemical can build up on fabrics over time, potentially limiting a material’s breathability. It can also inhibit flame-retardancy in kids’ clothes.
But even eco-friendly dryer sheets can be problematic due to insufficient regulation on consumer goods.
Environmental Working Group’s senior research and database analyst Samara Geller tells Apartment Therapy, “Labeling is a massive issue with cleaning products and their ingredients are disclosed less often.”
Instead, Geller suggests wool dryer balls that naturally soften fabrics through friction. They also help circulate heat by separating the clothing, which reduces drying time and static — and that’s a win for your wash.