Sunday, July 3, 2011
Queen of Green's Most "Not" Wanted Ingredient List
While reading this list keep in mind Europe has banned over 1000 chemicals while the US has only banned 9!! This is in no way an exhaustive list of chemicals that you and your family should avoid. However, this list contains ingredient chemicals that are found frequently in everyday, over the counter products. I hope that this blog post gets you inspired to start doing some of your own research.
Parabens are highly toxic preservatives that are used to extend the shelf life of products. They are commonly found in facial cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, cosmetics, topical pharmaceuticals, shampoos, shaving gels, personal lubricants, and toothpaste. In fact, one common paraben, Methylparaben is currently used in over 19,800 cosmetic products.
Parabens mimic the hormone estrogen and is an endocrine disruptor. There is great concern for the developing fetus, impaired fertility, and the development of estrogen sensitive diseases, such as breast cancer. Burning, blistering, and itching of the skin have been associated with parabens.
Often listed as: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isopropylparaben and a plethora of other common names.
2. Propylene Glycol:
An extremely toxic industrial solvent made from petroleum derivatives. This chemical can penetrate the skin so easily that industrial workers are warned of severe health related injuries if contact occurs. Such risk include, kidney, liver, and brain abnormalities. They must wear protective clothing and take all precautionary measures while handling this toxic chemical.
Propylene Glycol can be found in most transdermal patches. Its job is to carry the “active” ingredients into your bloodstream. It can also be found in baby products, shampoos, toothpastes, lotions, creams, deodorants, pet foods, floor waxes, hydraulic fluids, and is the main ingredient in anti-freeze!
Often listed as: PG, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Ethylene Glycol, and Propanediol.
3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) was used as engine degreasers and floor cleaners before it was introduced into nearly all baby washes, bubble baths, and shampoos! Many “natural” products are including this former engine degreaser in their products. One of the biggest issues with SLS is its ability to mimic the hormone Oestrogen. It may be responsible for several health related issues such as effecting male fertility, Menopausal symptoms, PMS problems, and the increased risk of female cancers where Oestrogen levels are involved (ovarian and breast cancer). It also damages the protein formations in the eyes that are caused by using shampoos that contain this nasty ingredient. It can lead to cataract formation and eventually blindness. The risk not only comes from direct eye contact, but from your skin absorbing it over a long period of time.
From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS):
Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure to a highly toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.
Often listed as: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Triclosan is a common anti-bacterial ingredient. It can be found in antibacterial soaps, cleansers, detergents, deodorants, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Its toxic compound can put your health at risk. A major concern is the chemical reaction that occurs when Triclosan and the chlorine inside of your tap water is mixed while brushing your teeth or washing your hands. The result is chloroform which is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent). Another major concern with using Tirclosan is that It is unhealthy to the environment and poses an increased risk of bacterial resistance.
5. Quarternium 15
Quarternium 15 is an ammonium salt that acts as a preservative in baby shampoos, lotions, eye makeup, and tons of other products. It works by releasing formaldehyde in order to kill bacteria. It is a strong allergen that frequently causes contact dermatitis and is highly sensitizing. It is also a known carcinogen.
6. FRAGRANCE (Fragrance Oils)
Fragrance can be found in products that have scents. These fragrances are synthetic and are made primarily of petrochemicals. Unlike essential oils that are derived from an actual plant, fragrance oils, are produced by chemist who add a little of this and a little of that in order to create these “fake” scents. All of these chemical concoctions have the ability to contribute to allergic reactions, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and cancer. By listing a group of chemicals as a “proprietary blend,” companies do not have to disclose the ingredients. They are able to legally do this because the “proprietary blend” is considered a trade secret formulation and therefore, is covered under patent law. In fact, 3,163 different chemicals can be used under the word fragrance. If you see the word fragrance on the label, put it back on the shelf.
7. 1,4 Dioxane
1,4-Dioxane is not listed on the ingredient list very often because it is a contaminate that is produced during the manufacturing process of petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. sodium laureth sulfate and polyethylene glycol are two common ethylene oxides. There are many health implications associated with 1,4 Dioxane--It easily penetrates the skin, is suspected to cause cancer and birth defects, and is suspected as being a respiratory toxicant, neurotoxicant, and kidney toxicant.
To avoid coming in contact with this do not use any product with the following ingredients: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.