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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Toxins in cosmetics

The 12 most common toxins in cosmetics, soaps, creams, shampoos, etc.

EDC = endocrine disrupting chemical
MSDS = a sheet summarizing any hazards with a specific chemical, which also includes problems associated with long-term or repeated exposure. May include cancinogenicity info, synonyms. 

  1. BHA and BHT are suspected endocrine disruptors. Harmful to fish and wildlife. MSDS for BHA as PDF.
  2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as "CI" followed by a five digit number. Colors listed in the 75000 and 77000 series, and "FD&C Blue 1" or "Blue No 1" also. MSDS from Proctor and Gamble as PDF.
  3. DEA, TEA and MEA ingredients. Can form nitrosamines which cause cancer. 
  4. Dibutyl phthalate, or any phthalate. 
  5. Parabens. Suspected EDCs.
  6. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives like DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. May cause cancer. 
  7. "Parfum" aka "fragrance". Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
  8. PEG compounds. 
  9. Petrolatum, petroleum compounds. A product made from oil that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which could cause cancer.
  10. Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in "-siloxane" or "-methicone." Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). 
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate. Used as foaming agent in shampoos, detergents, soaps, etc. Can cause cancer. MSDS sheet as PDF.
  12. Triclosan contributes to making antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. See article "50% of antibiotics ineffective on children."

  1. "Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals." David Suzuki. Last accessed May 6, 2016. Link here
  2. EWG cosmetics database. 97,000 products here listing which toxic chemicals they have, if any. Link here

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