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Take a Whiff of This! (Part 2)





Gloria Gilbère

First-Hand Solutions Second-Hand Reactions











A regular column by Gloria Gilbère N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D.



Gloria Gilbère is an internationally respected traditional naturopath, homeopath and doctor of natural health. Author of the bestselling books 'I was Poisoned by my Body' and 'Invisible Illnesses', she restored her own health after suffering from leaky gut syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and now successfully helps others do the same. She focuses on finding drug-free solutions to 'invisible illnesses' such as these which she refers to as Multiple Allergic Response Syndromes (MARS™).


You can now benefit from Gloria's wisdom and experience by visiting us at The Environmental Illness Resource regularly to read her latest column!



Monday, April 9th 2007:



Take a Whiff of This! (Part 2) - Fabric Softeners

by Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., PhD.


Fabric softeners, like other fragrance products, contain chemicals in untested combinations that can adversely affect the central nervous system (CNS) – your brain and spine.


CNS exposure is responsible for the following symptoms, but not limited to: blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness, headaches, hunger, memory loss, numbness in face, pain in the neck, muscles and spine.


CNS disorders include, but not limited to: Alzheimer’s, Attention Deficit, Dementia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Seizures, Strokes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and soft and connective disorders like Fibromyalgia (FM), and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

Second-hand Reactions


Bedding, clothing, and air contaminated by fabric softeners can cause:


  • Loss of balance and falling without evident causes
  • Numbness on face for someone chemically sensitive
  • Migraine headache, trigger cause undetermined
  • Soft tissue pain
  • Red skin blotches with heat and, often times, swelling
  • Overall fatigue and symptoms that mimic those with the flu


“Natural”, “Fragrance-free”, and “Unscented” do not equal chemical-free.



According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), the following is a list of dangerous chemicals in fabric softener products, most in untested combinations. Liquid fabric softeners additionally may contain formaldehyde.



Health Effects

Benzyl Acetate Linked to pancreatic cancer. Vapors irritate eyes and respiratory passages, creates coughing. Is absorbed by the skin.
Benzyl Alcohol Upper respiratory tract irritant. Causes central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and low blood pressure.
Ethyl Acetate Narcotic – EPA’s list of Hazardous Waste. Irritates eyes and respiratory tract, causes headaches and narcosis, anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys. May cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders
Limonene Known carcinogen. Eye and skin irritant and sensitizer.
Alpha Terpineol Causes CNS disorders, highly irritating mucous membranes. Aspiration produces respiratory depression, pneumonia or fatal edema.
Camphor EPA’s list of Hazardous Waste. Causes CNS disorders. Easily absorbed through body tissues causing irritation of eyes, nose and throat and dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions.
Linalool Narcotic that causes CNS disorders, respiratory disturbances. Animal testing led to death.
Chloroform EPA’s list of Hazardous Waste. Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic. Vapor inhalation causes headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory irritation, unconsciousness. Intensifies disorders of the kidney, liver, heart and skin. Dangerous when heated.
Pentane Harmful if inhaled


Most chemicals are more dangerous when heated, as in clothes dryers, making dryer sheets more dangerous than liquid softeners – also contributing toxic fumes into the air.


Fabric softeners are made to remain in your clothing – the chemicals slowly release into the air and are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Notice fabric softener sheets make towels less-absorbent – causing a chemical residue clogging dryer vents. Some dryer manufacturers warn not to use fabric softener sheets, or include a clause stating use of chemical-based dryer sheets will void the warranty.

Babies, children, older people and the immuno-compromised are especially at risk. Damage can be permanent. Babies often react with rashes, frequent crying, re-occurring infections and/or diarrhea. Some scientists see need for research into a connection between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and use of these products for washing baby clothes and bedding – stating that in some cases of SIDS, an anaphylactic reaction is responsible, so fabric softener should not be ruled out as a possible cause.
Most fabric softeners have fragrance added to cover up the chemical smells, making a toxic product more so.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Manmade chemicals, and products that contain them, do not biodegrade. What goes down the drain perpetually re-enters the ecosystem – affecting our health and that of our planet. Wastewater treatment facilities do not screen out these chemicals. Synthetic compounds have been detected in human fat tissue and breast milk, as well as in aquatic life. Without sufficient toxicity data we cannot predict the effect of these chemicals for us and future generations.

Safe Alternatives

Natural fabric softeners – add ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar or baking soda to rinse. Companies now make all natural, chemical- and fragrance-free fabric softeners for the rinse and the dryer. There is no excuse for subjecting ourselves and our environment to the toxic effects of chemicals.

View the very BEST Environmental Illness Videos!

1. Your Health is Governed by Your Environment | Prof. BM Hegde | TEDx Talk

2. Demystifying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

3. Social Determinants of Health - An Introduction 



Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., is internationally respected as an authoritative influence in the discovery of the causes, effects and drug-free solutions for fibromyalgia, inflammatory and chemically induced immune system disorders, and renowned for her wholistic skin and body rejuvenation (WSBR®) programs. She is author of 9 books, among them I Was Poisoned by My Body, Invisible Illnesses, Pain / Inflammation Matters, Colon Cleansing Matters, and the WSBR Program. She is host of “Your Health Matters”, a web-based talk show heard weekly on To contact her office and schedule a consultation, by phone, video cam, or in Sandpoint, Idaho, call (208) 255-5252 or visit her website at


Next up (Apr 16): Second-hand Reactions Matter



Book Giveaway!


**To celebrate the publication of her new column on The Environmental Illness Resource, Gloria is offering 3 signed copies of each of her 3 books listed below. To be the lucky recipient of one of the books simply email Gloria and let her know what you thought of her first column article and what subjects you would like her to write about in the future. That's it! Email Gloria at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Winners will be announced in a future article right here. **



Learn more from Gloria's books:



I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!cover

I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!


» Buy Now


Invisible Illnesses

Invisible Illnesses

» Buy Now


Pain/Inflammation Matters: Recipes for Life

Pain/Inflammation Matters: Recipes for Life

» Buy Now







The information provided is not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cures for any condition, disease or disorder. It is presented as educational and investigative material and the consumer assumes full-responsibility for using any product, procedure, protocol or therapy.

Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, and its representatives, does not warrant and shall have no liability for information provided in this newsletter or on this website, intended or implied. Consult your health care professional for medical-related conditions or concerns.




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View the very BEST Environmental Illness Videos!

1. Your Health is Governed by Your Environment | Prof. BM Hegde | TEDx Talk

2. Demystifying Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

3. Social Determinants of Health - An Introduction