Let’s take a walk through the average house in America. We’re looking for items that are common, every house has them. But every house shouldn’t have them. You may be surprised at some of the toxic items we’ll find.

It’s the Twenty-First Century business-person’s nightmare: you go to work for the most important meeting of the year, dressed to the nines, your presentation is ready, and you are dressed to kill. As you walk from the back of the room to the dais you hear some snickering. The closer you get the more laughter you hear. When you turn to the assembly to speak they quickly clam up, but as you tentatively begin speaking they can’t control themselves and the snickers begin anew.

Every time you turn to reference a slide there is a burst of laughter as if someone taped a “Kick Me” sign on your back. Finally, a colleague walks up to you and pulls something off your back, something you hadn’t noticed when you got dressed, ate breakfast, drove to work and prepared yourself for your meeting.

It’s a white sock.

A window appears on a wall and you jump out of it.

Just make sure you wake up before you land.

This is part of the reason we buy those fabric softening sheets. We want our clothes silky smooth and smelling like a baby’s head. But what’s the trade off? I mean, really? What damage could a dryer sheet do?

According to the book, The Brain Wash: A Powerful, All-Natural Program to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Parkinson’s, and Other Diseases by Michelle Schoffro Cook (Copyright 2007, by the author) they can do plenty of damage. How’s this for a mighty quote:

“Headlines around the world are reporting two disturbing trends: the incidence of brain disease is growing at an alarming rate; and increasing levels of industrial chemicals are being found in human bodies.”

“Brain disease?” you ask with an incredulous tone. “Dryer sheets cause brain disease?”

Dryer sheets CAN cause brain disease.

Dryer sheets and some of the liquid fabric softeners contain several things that can have a direct effect on your nervous system. Here are some of the most common according to The Brain Wash:

1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.

2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.

3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.

4. Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.

5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).

6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.

7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors causes central nervous system depression.

So what can you use instead? We recommend a set of six wool balls, typically with an essential oil blend called Purify (doTerra). This helps soften the clothes and won’t leave you with carcinogens rubbing against your body all day.

And hopefully you won’t go to work with a sock stuck to your back.