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Lisa L&D RN mama to DS#1 (4-01) DS#2 (9-03) DD (10-05) X2, 10-2011
|Fels-Naptha is a brand of bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains on clothing and as a home remedy for exposure to poison ivy and other skin-irritants. Fels-Naptha is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation.
The soap comes packaged in paper similar to bar body soap and is most often found in the laundry section of a supermarket or grocery store. It is used in the pre-treatment of stains by rubbing the dampened product on a soiled area prior to laundering, and is claimed by the manufacturer to be most effective in removing chocolate, baby formula, perspiration, and make-up.
Fels-Naptha is also used as a home remedy in the treatment of contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, and other oil-transmitted organic skin-irritants. Washing the skin directly with the soap helps break up the oils that carry the toxin. Grated and added to a wash cycle, about 1/16th a bar's worth the Fels-Naptha per load, will eliminate residual resins that can remain in clothes up to a year according to the manufacturer.
While sometimes also sold next to personal-care body soaps it should not be used as an overall body soap or regular laundry additive since it contains Stoddard solvent, a skin and eye irritant.
According to the "Chronic Health Effects" section of the National Institutes of Health's MSDS for Fels Naptha:
Chronic toxicity testing has not been conducted on this product. However, the following effects have been reported on one of the product's components. Stoddard solvent: Repeated or prolonged exposure to high concentrations has resulted in upper respiratory tract irritation, central and peripheral nervous system effects, and possibly hematopoetic, liver and kidney effects.
Stoddard solvent is another name for mineral spirits, which are, like petroleum distillates, a mixture of multiple chemicals made from petroleum. Exposure to Stoddard solvent in the air can affect your nervous system and cause dizziness, headaches, or a prolonged reaction time. It can also cause eye, skin, or throat irritation.
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