Press Release Headlines

New Study Reveals Hidden Dangers of Fabric Softeners and Air Fresheners

Is Your Family at Risk?

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 29, 2010 — A new study led by the University of Washington has revealed that in a test of best-selling scented household products including detergents, dryer sheets, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, and shampoos, almost a quarter of the chemicals detected were classified as toxic or hazardous under federal law, and some were even classified as possible carcinogens. All of the products tested emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic or hazardous. This included products promoted as being "green" or "natural." Of over 420 chemicals detected, only one was listed on a product label.

Physician and researcher Dr. Claudia Miller, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is a leading expert in the fields of environmental health and allergy. Her research shows that repeated or extended exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause people to become intolerant to a wide variety of everyday chemicals that didn't bother them prior to the toxic exposure. She refers to this process as Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance, or TILT. She points out that the very products we use to keep our homes smelling fresh and clean may actually be setting us up for a lifetime of chemically induced illness. Dr. Miller explains: "Every time we wrap our babies in blankets treated with fabric softener or place them on new carpeting in a freshly painted room we have prepared just for them, we are bringing an array of toxic chemicals right into their breathing zones."

Invite Dr. Miller to answer:

  • Who is at greatest risk for developing TILT?
  • Which substances are most likely to cause TILT?
  • What are the common symptoms that might indicate TILT?
  • What can consumers substitute for dangerous household products?

CREDENTIALS: Claudia Miller, MD, is Assistant Dean and Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She has extensive experience in workplace, home and community exposure investigations. Her groundbreaking research on the health effects of low-level chemical exposures won the World Health Organization's prestigious Macedo Award. She is co-author of the professionally acclaimed book, CHEMICAL EXPOSURES: Low Levels and High Stakes, which reveals how exposures can cause common chronic illnesses via TILT. Dr. Miller has been interviewed by The New York Times several times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, National Public Radio, Gannett, The Guardian, Associated Press, Washington Times, Chemical and Engineering News, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

AVAILABILITY: Texas, nationwide by arrangement, and via telephone

CONTACT: Will Sansom, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, (210) 567-2579 (TX); Email; website:

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