Test examines chemicals in laundry detergents for colored clothes

29. mar 2017

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has had a closer look at the ingredient lists of 51 Danish laundry detergents for colored clothing. The lists have been checked for ingredients that may be problematic to the environment or human health.


Test examines chemicals in laundry detergents for colored clothes
Photo: Nikoline Oturai

Many products on the Danish market are free from problematic chemicals

The test shows that the consumers have many good choices regarding chemical content when they go to purchase “color” laundry detergents. More than half of the tested 51 laundry detergents do not contain problematic chemicals or perfume.

The test includes both liquid laundry detergents as well as washing powder.

See the test results in Danish.

Liquid laundry detergents can contain allergenic substance

In the test 8 laundry detergents contain allergenic preservatives, as the substance MI (methylisothiazolinone) or similar substances.

The laundry detergents that contain allergenic preservatives are all liquid products. You can easily avoid the substances by choosing washing powder instead.

You can also lower your risk of perfume allergy by using a product without perfume.

2 detergents contain a suspected reprotoxic substance

The test showed that two laundry detergents contained the substance sodium borate, which is suspected to have an adverse effect on fertility. Sodium Borate is placed on the EU List of Substances of Very High Concern.

Sodium borate is not listed as an ingredient on the packaging but can be found on the detergent datasheets that includes all ingredients. The detergent datasheet can be found on the website that is listed on the product.

The detergents are most likely not to cause harm on their own, but they contribute to the cocktail effect and the total exposure of problematic chemicals.

Choosing products that have both Ecolabel and The Blue Label from Astma-Allergi Danmark ensures that the product is a good choice in regards to both health and the environment.

For further questions about the test contact Christel Søgaard Kirkeby, projectmanager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals, on e-mail csk@fbr.dk.