When buying a shampoo, many people are not aware how frequent toxic and carcinogenic ingredients are. Generally, people know something about the fact that shampoo and personal care products contain some chemicals that are not entirely harmless.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate personal care products, such as shampoo, shower gels, soaps, and the like, so it’s not illegal to put actually anything inside them.
Here are 6 chemicals that you should avoid:
1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium laureth, or sodium lauryl sulfate, is an ingredient used as detergent, emulsifier and surface active agent (surfactant). It is present in almost every commercial cleaning agent, shampoo, laundry detergent, liquid soap, etc. This ingredient is dangerous because during the manufacturing process it binds with 1.4 dioxane which behaves as a carcinogen.
Some evidence shows that sodium lauryl sulfate can bring about skin and eye irritation, ecotoxicity, developmental, organ, reproductive and neurotoxicity, endocrine disturbance and DNA mutations, leading to cancer. Take care of your health and search for shampoos that don’t include this ingredient.
2. Propylene Glycol
This is a type of humectant chemical, used commonly as a skin-moisturizing factor. It’s also used to make the personal care products less sticky, as a viscosity-reducing element. Nevertheless, this chemical can severely irritate your eyes, skin and lungs. Some studies show that propylene glycol has allergenic and toxic features.
Only 2% of propylene glycol can cause great damage to the skin, such as irritation and even hives. The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List has classified this ingredient as highly toxic. Protect your skin from irritation and other damages by buying care products that don’t contain this chemical.
This chemical is used as hygienic preserver in most of the shampoos, liquid soaps, and other commercially available care products. However, several studies based on mammal brain cells imply that this is a known immune toxic substance that reduces the strength of the human immune system and is poisonous for the nervous system.
Methylisothiazolinone also causes serious allergy problems and skin damages. The chemical is out of use in Europe and should be avoided.
4. DEA, or Diethanolamine
DEA regulates the level of pH in products. It is banned in Canada as an ingredient in cosmetic products, since it was proven to be unsafe and unhealthy. It causes severe irritations to the eyes, lungs, and skin, and is poisonous for the organs.
Great amount of evidence proves that DEA is a human respiratory, immune and skin toxic agent, and possible human carcinoma. The California Environmental Agency strongly suggests to keep yourself safe and avoid care products with this ingredient.
5. 1.4 dioxane
1.4 dioxane is used for reducing the risk of irritation of the skin especially when you have to work with petroleum-based materials. When exposed to 1.4 dioxane, skin, nasal, lung, liver, breast and gall bladder cancer are likely to occur. However, it still exists in 46% of the care products on the markets.
The US EPA suggested that it is more than possible that this byproduct is a human carcinogen. The US NTP studies involving animal subjects also found that it is likely that the chemical behaves like carcinogen. Avoid this substance by identifying it as –polyethylene-, -polyoxyethylene- , or PEG, included in the ingredient list of the product.
Parabens are chemicals used as preservers in personal care products, in that they stop the development of microorganisms. It was found that the chemicals were safe when used at 25% concentration, but there is still some evidence that this is not the case.
Butyl, methyl and propyl damage the endocrine functions connected with hormone production and proper gland function. Methyl paraben leads to premature aging by increasing sensitivity of UV lights.
These chemicals imitate the chemical features of estrogen hormone which leads to breast cancer. They also reduce the sperm amount. Fortunately, there are a lot of available shampoos, free from parabens.