The Problem With 1 4 Dioxane

We were alerted to the presence of 1 4 dioxane in many brands of personal care items by The Organic Consumers Association. This particular impurity has been linked to cancer and is raising a great deal of concern not only for it's presence in so many products but because it has been found in many 'natural' and 'organic' products.

1 4 Dioxane is not listed as an ingredient. It is a by-product of any number of ingredients used in products. They would be found in products as ingredients listed with eth somewhere in the name as in myreth, oleth or laureth (sodium laureth) also PEG, polyethylene glycol, polyoxynylene, or oxynol in the name.

These particular ingredients are usually used in cheap products to provide mildness for harsh detergents but they are also added to improve cleansing abilities among other things.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 1,4 Dioxane was most often found in the following products (this is all products not just those claiming 'natural' or 'organic'):

97% - hair relaxers

82% - hair dyes and bleaching

66% - hair removers

57% - baby soap

45% - sunless tanning products

43% - body firming lotion

36% - hormonal creams

36% - facial moisturizers

35% - anti-aging products

34% - body lotion

33% - around-eye creams

That high of a percentage in baby soap is very disturbing since a baby system is so delicate. But as you can see 1 4-dioxane is present in many different kinds of items.

This is just one more reason why it is so important to be informed. We can't trust that all the ingredients are safe just because we see natural or organic on the label. Look for certifications. All certified organic or BDIH natural showed no traces of 1 4 Dioxane. BDIH is a German certification process that some American companies are just beginning to work toward obtaining and it should help to provide some real reassurance.

Learn about problem ingredients, read the labels and check anything you are unsure of. Or easier still check your products with the Safe Cosmetics Database.

For more information about the findings of 1 4 dioxane go to The Organic Consumers Association and join the Coming Clean Campaign for Organic Integrity of Bodycare Products.

Also check out my pages on certified organic skincare and nontoxic skin care..

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