Optical Brighteners: Just Say No to the Glow! | Seventh Generation
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Optical Brighteners: Just Say No to the Glow!

118 comments
Author: lwoodburne

Cara Bondi, Research Chemist at Seventh Generation explains what optical brighteners are and why Seventh Generation doesn't use them: a real clean shouldn't be an optical illusion. Optical brighteners are synthetic chemicals that make fabrics appear to glow in the presence of ultraviolet light. They don't have anything to do with getting things clean -- they're only added to detergents to make us think our laundry is brighter and whiter than it really is. Designed to intentionally remain behind on our clothes and linens, optical brighteners rub off on our skin where they can cause a reaction that looks like sunburn. They're no fun for the environment either. Optical brighteners washed down our drains frequently survive wastewater treatment and escape into our lakes, rivers, and streams. Once there, they don't completely biodegrade and instead accumulate in fish.

Test Your Knowledge! Take this short quiz about optical brighteners after you watch the video.

118
Comments

nvr2ol picture
nvr2ol
04/11/11
How the government keeps adding and falsifying our products to make us think how amazing, and safe they(they products) are!
HTUGGLE picture
HTUGGLE
04/11/11
wow! had no idea!
Hannah Naito picture
Hannah Naito
04/10/11
I had no idea.
karmala picture
karmala
04/10/11
I never realized that it was these chemicals that causes the white clothing to be so bright in black light
yoon0040 picture
yoon0040
04/10/11
WOW, DID NOT KNOW THAT! THANKS FOR THE INFO.
lilpinky1234 picture
lilpinky1234
04/10/11
Im glad I know this now..
mymango picture
mymango
04/09/11
thats crazy! I didnt know that.
jtc4260 picture
jtc4260
04/09/11
very good info
jenniferb53@hotmail.com picture
jenniferb53@hotmail.com
04/09/11
I had no idea, but i did wonder why my kids' clothes aren't as bright and new looking as the other kids.
cbaden picture
cbaden
04/09/11
Glad I got the education today! You learn something new everyday!
Kari Sell picture
Kari Sell
04/09/11
It continually amazes me the things that are allowed in products that do no good and actually do harm. Why are they still allowed? How great that we have companies like Seventh Generation that are concerned with more than just making a sale.
MrBunka picture
MrBunka
04/07/11
This video was very interesting; The part about optical brighteners used in less concerned detergent makers disturbs me..
midlers picture
midlers
04/07/11
Great information!
Lizy20023 picture
Lizy20023
04/07/11
amazing
hugs and bugs picture
hugs and bugs
04/07/11
informative- should be a widespread tv commercial
Scoobydooby picture
Scoobydooby
04/07/11
I had no idea, either!
sbaker23 picture
sbaker23
04/07/11
I am blown away with all of the things companies add to their products to sell them. In return from using these products we have a polluted air, water, and soil. We have to start somewhere to fix it.
ash516ley picture
ash516ley
04/07/11
I had no idea!! Thanks!!!