Boutique display window with mannequins in fashionable dressesIt is amazing to see how new technologies improve the color and durability of fabrics and they help our clothing to stay looking new longer. There is, however, a new technology going into most new clothes that is proving to be a big problem for people with a chemical sensitivity. That product is called Microban. The purpose of the product is to protect fabrics from bacteria, mold and in some cases algae that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration.

With the benefit comes a trade-off. Microban contains a blend of chemicals that include Triclosan. Triclosan is an ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It may be found in products such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and toys. It also may be added to antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes, and some cosmetics—products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While it is FDA approved, it is currently under scrutiny due to several studies that question the health and environmental effects of the toxin.

Now, if you are thinking that wearing a toxin might cause people problems, you would be right if that person is chemically sensitive. But the problem of chemical sensitivity is not always clear cut.

Let’s take Debbie, for example. She contacted us this month to ask us if the EC3 Laundry Additive could be causing a skin rash. Debbie has a fungal allergy and has had long term exposure to mold. That combination often triggers a chemical sensitivity, which she has.

These circumstances have led to a problem with her clothing. She told us that she can wear new clothing only once, but after she launders it with the EC3 Laundry Additive, the clothing causes a rash-like symptom. It is a fair question to ask if the Laundry Additive could be causing her problem.

The simple answer is yes, the EC3 Laundry Additive could be causing a rash like reaction. The product uses natural oils, and one of them, Tea Tree Oil, has been known to be an irritant to chemically sensitive people. It actually helps to make the clothing more fungal resistant, so traces of it could be acting as an irritant.

That brings us back to Microban. We are hearing from more and more people that are have an issue with it. Since it is a growing problem I suggested to Debbie that her issue could be from the Microban product.

But that begs the question: How do you know which, or if either, is the problem?

If you are having a similar problem, we would like to give you a couple of ways to test the issue.

The first test is to stop using the EC3 Laundry Additive for a few cycles to see if the symptoms resolve themselves. Not washing new clothing before you wear them is the purest form of the test. If the symptoms persist, you either have a mold contamination problem or a chemical in the clothing, such as Microban, causing your issue.

The way to test the other side of the equation is to look for clothing that does not have the Microban in it. This is becoming increasingly difficult, but is still possible, and many labels note its presence. Wash it first without the Laundry Additive. If there is an issue, then it is likely a mold problem in your clothing. If you have no issue, then wash it again in the Laundry Additive to see if you have a reaction. If no again, then Microban is the likely culprit and you should stop wearing clothing with the product in it. If yes, then the EC3 Laundry Additive product is likely your issue – or most any product with Tea Tree Oil in it that comes into contact with your skin such as shampoos and lotions.

Since you still want to remove mold spores from your clothing you can use EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate at regular strength to pre-treat your clothing or use 1 cup of baking soda in your wash cycle as another alternative method for cleaning your clothes.

In either case, your underlying issue is that mold exposure inflames the immune system causing allergic reactions to occur. This is why removing mold and Mycotoxins from your body with our body treatment protocol is so important. It will take some time, but you can get these symptoms to resolve themselves. In the meantime, taking the steps to avoid inflaming chemical sensitivities will make your recovery process more bearable.