November 3, 2010

Not to be an alarmist, but . . .

YIKES! I've been shampooing with 1,4-dioxane for years and never knew it.

Proctor & Gamble never told me that they were generating a nasty chemical byproduct just to give me more suds in my shampoos. They  recently agreed to reformulate this shampoo to reduce dioxane levels to a "safer level."

The EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a probable human carcinogen, and it’s on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Still, the FDA doesn’t require 1,4-dioxane to be listed on the labels of personal care products because it’s considered a contaminant, not an ingredient because it’s produced during manufacturing.

This petrochemical is also showing up in water supplies across the country.

But I'll use this nifty chart from the Environmental Working Group when I go shopping for not only another brand of shampoo, but different laundry detergent as well. It seems that nearly two-thirds of laundry detergents sold in the U.S. have dioxane as well.

In the past year there has been a flurry of activity throughout the United States banning detergents with phosphates. Six states passed legislation that went into effect in July 2010. Canada is following on the same path.

Here's another helpful laundry detergent guide:

The FDA website will tell you about dioxane in makeup. The carcinogen 1,4-dioxane contaminates up to 46% of personal care products tested (OCA 2008, EWG 2008). The chemical is an unwanted byproduct of an ingredient processing method called ethoxylation used to reduce the risk of skin irritation for petroleum-based ingredients. Though 1,4-dioxane can easily be removed from products before they are sold, its widespread presence in products indicates that many manufacturers fail to take this simple step.

Tammy Faye wannabes might be at risk! Check out this dandy makeup database at