We're taking a few minutes to disprove something that's been circulating happily on social networks and even on several ecological and zero-waste sites.
But what is it? Using dryer lint to start a fire!
As we all know, many garments on the market are made from synthetic fibers. These synthetic fibers, like polyester and spandex, are made from petroleum. You could say they're plastic.
That said, dryer lint isn't created from dust accumulated during your daily chores, but from fabric particles that come off your clothes.
I'd be surprised if you told me that your clothes are made exclusively from natural fibers such as linen, hemp, wool and cotton.
Having said that, it's a safe bet that your dryer lint is mainly made of plastic micro-fibers.
But what does burning plastic do?
First of all, burning plastic gives off a bad smell. The smell can also make you feel like you're choking... But what if that's all it was!
When plastic burns, it releases a variety of health-threatening substances. These include dioxins, furans, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Burnt plastic waste ends up in the atmosphere.
Let's face it, you're not going to get sick from lighting a fire with your dryer lint. But... and yes, there is a but! These toxic substances are often bioaccumulative. In other words, the human body doesn't have the capacity to evacuate them quickly, so toxic levels build up in your body. As a result, you expose yourself to a higher level of toxicity, and therefore to a greater risk of illness.
In any case, the question arises: do you really want to be the one to light your fire with plastic, taking the risk of totally unnecessarily contaminating the environment? So, if you really want to light a fire, here's to your waste paper, cardboard and matches. With a fire, there's also the pleasure of lighting it gently, with the real smell of wood!
What do I do with my dryer lint ?
That's an interesting question!
The first thing would be to reduce its production. The only way to do this is to stop using your dryer and air-dry your clothes! In this way, you increase the durability of your clothes and reduce lint production.
Otherwise, dryer lint goes into the garbage, or into home-made stuffing.
It's not used for lighting fires, and it's not made accessible to birds for nest building and other purposes. Would you sleep in volatile plastic lint?