Paper towels are disposable, absorbent towels made of paper intended for one-time use only. Paper towels absorb water because they contain particles that soak up water inside their layers. Paper towels are used to dry hands, wipe windows and other surfaces, dust, and are commonly seen in public restrooms. Sadly most of the traditional paper towels we might reach for contain many toxic chemicals that we really do not want to have in contact with our skin. This is where reusable bamboo paper towels are a great non-toxic alternative.
How Often Do We Use Paper Towels?
Americans use nearly 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year. This works out to 80 rolls per person each year. It means that many trees must be felled to enjoy regular tree-based paper towels. Furthermore, most traditional paper towels are packaged in plastic that is simply discarded, compounding the negative impact of tree-based paper towels. We can easily reduce our home's ecological footprint by switching to more ecologically friendly paper towels. Because we use so many paper towels, whether or not they are non-toxic can make a big difference to our health, our families' health, and our communities' health.
Are Toxic Chemicals Found in Traditional Paper Towels?
In addition to the environmental costs of cutting down trees to produce paper towels many toxic chemicals are used to make them. Traditional paper products, such as paper towels contain dyes, inks, fragrances, chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, and adhesives. It is imperative that we know what chemicals make up the products we use. We also need to know whether or not there are chemical-free alternatives we can use.
What Chemicals Can Be Found in Traditional Paper Towels?
When we reach for a traditional paper towel we often do not consider what substances we are also picking up. There are a number of chemicals found in traditional paper towels that are known to negatively affect our health. No one wants the paper towels we grab to harm our health in the long run.
Here are just some of the chemicals found in traditional paper towels and the health costs of each one.
- CDFs are a chemical category that includes approximately 135 different compounds. They may wreck the nervous and respiratory systems, as well as irritate the skin and eyes.
- Triclosan is added to products as an antimicrobial to reduce, or prevent, bacterial contamination. Triclosan may affect the hormone and reproductive systems, increasing allergen sensitivity.
- Formaldehyde is a chemical in the volatile organic compound (VOC) family, and releases gasses into the air. People can be exposed to formaldehyde by touching these products.
- Created as an alternative to the toxic chemical BPA (bisphenol A), BPS (bisphenol S) has been found to likely have the same effect on people’s health. BPS may affect the hormone system.
What About Recycled Paper Towels?
While recycled paper in general is better than non-recycled paper, making recycled toilet paper also involves strong de-inking agents, and harsh chemicals such as BPA. These are chemicals that we neither want near our most sensitive skin nor polluting our land and water ways for years to come.
Are There Any Non-Toxic Alternatives To Traditional Paper Towels?
Yes, bamboo paper towels are a great non-toxic alternative. Bamboo paper towels are strong enough to clear up a spill, drop, leak, or, more frequently, an unexpected accident. Bamboo paper towels have no inks, colors, or odors. Every reusable paper towel order ships plastic-free, recyclable, and biodegradable. Overall, the whole production cycle from growing to creating sustainable bamboo paper towels is better for the environment than other tree-based paper towels. In addition to bamboo’s strength and softness, it has natural antibacterial & anti-odor qualities. This helps bamboo reusable paper towels stay fresh as we use them again and again.
Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels Are a Great Non-Toxic Choice:
So, the next time we spill something in the kitchen, are doing an art project, or are doing some seasonal deep cleaning instead of reaching for a traditional paper towel with all the inherited negative impacts of that choice, we should grab a reusable bamboo paper towel instead. Bamboo paper towels are better for the environment, for our pocketbooks, and help us keep our homes clean and organized. With such a wide range of benefits there is no reason we should not switch to bamboo paper towels for all our paper towel needs. Bamboo paper towels are just one of several eco-friendly products we can use to keep our homes sparkling and shining every day.