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Thursday, May 14, 2009

SLS: Wash your hair in Agent Orange?

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a very common chemical found in shampoos, hair conditioners, toothpaste, body washes bubble baths etc.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is also a strong and harsh detergent used in industry as a degreaser and a powerful wetting and foaming agent. Individuals and companies promoting cosmetic and personal care products that are free of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) have had a lot of mileage out of bad publicity SLS has received over the last few years. What are the facts?

Sodium lauryl sulphate Safety Data Sheet




Sodium Lauryl Sulphate facts?

As a concerned and aware consumer, do you really have anything to worry about as far as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is concerned?

It would appear that we have two quite differing views on the safety of using and exposing the body to constant low levels of toxic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). I feel it is only fair we look at the facts as they are reported by the chemical industry and other concerned individuals in regard to SLS.

I would like to quote word for word as reported in the book "Health Wars" written by investigative medical journalist Phillip Day: You make up your own mind about the wisdom of using Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) in your shampoo and children's bubble bath!

"Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a very harsh detergent found in almost all shampoos and more than a few toothpastes. Pick up a cross section of these products next time you visit the supermarket and you will find Sodium Lauryl Sulphate SLS or Sodium Lauryth Sulphate (SLES) in pride of place under the ingredients label.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate started its career as an industrial degreasant and garage floor cleaner. When applied to human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer and then irritating and eroding the skin, leaving it rough and pitted.

Studies on SLS have shown that:" (Judi Vance, Beauty To Die For, Promotion Publishing, 1998)

  1. "Shampoos with SLS could retard healing and keep children's eyes from developing properly. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. (Summary of Report of Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. conference."

  2. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea."

  3. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body. It builds up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas."

  4. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes skin to flake and to separate and causes roughness on the skin."

  5. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin."

  6. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is such a caustic cleanser that it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs the ability to grow hair."

  7. "Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested." (Study cited by the Wall St Journal, 1st November 1998)

Ethoxylation: Ethoxylation is the process that makes degreasing agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) less abrasive and gives them enhanced foaming properties. When SLS is ethoxylated, it forms Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), a compound used in many shampoos, toothpastes, bath gels, bubble baths, and industrial degreasants. The problem is, the extremely harmful compound 1,4-dioxane may be created during the ethoxylation process, contaminating the product. 1,4-dioxane was one of the principal components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, used to great effect by the Americans during the Vietnam War to strip off the jungle canopy to reveal their enemy. 1,4-dioxane is a hormonal disrupter believed to be the chief agent implicated in the host of cancers suffered by Vietnam military personnel after the war. It is also an oestrogen mimic thought to increase the chances of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, stress related illnesses and lower sperm counts.

Dr Samuel Epstein (Author and research Scientist) reports: "The best way to protect yourself is to recognise ingredients most likely to be contaminated with the1,4-dioxane. These include ingredients with the prefix word, or syllable PEG, Polyethylene, Polyethylene Glycol, Polyoxyethylene, eth (as in sodium laureth sulphate) or oxynol. Both polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80 may also be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. (Epstein, Dr Samuel, Safe Shoppers Bible, P.190-191)

So my uncle Ellick was right from ten years ago. Thank you.

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