In one of the daily newspapers the other day I read an article that claimed scientists from Nottingham and London have carried out a review of 40 years of research on the biological agents used in biological washing machine detergent. Their conclusion is, and I quote, “it’s a myth that biological washing powders irritate the skin or aggravate eczema”.
The findings have been published in the British Journal of dermatology and the conclusion was, “the balance of all the evidence is that enzymes in laundry detergents are not a cause of either skin irritation or skin allergy”.
Biological detergent not guilty?
I must admit to being surprised at these findings. Over the years I have come across many people who believed that biological detergents caused itching to one or more members of their family. I can only assume they believe this because they stopped using biological detergents and the itching and irritation disappeared. Otherwise they could not have decided it was the biological detergent causing the problems.
However, biological enzymes are not guilty according to people who should know what they are doing but I can’t say how credible these tests were, or who commissioned them. There is some suspicion they were funded by detergent manufacturers. Here is a very useful PDF document from the National Eczema society about household irritants which covers many causes of irritation including laundry – Household Irritants