Chemicals in Soaps & Cosmetics

Chemicals in Soaps, Shampoos, Bubble Baths, Toothpaste and Cosmetics 
From Home Brewed Cancer and other Maladies published by Network 
News and Publications

  • 1965 to 1982 over 4 million distinct chemical compounds formulated
  • At least 250,000 new formulations created annually since then
  • Approximately 3,000 chemicals are added to our foods
  • 700 have been found in drinking water
  • 400 have been identified in human tissue
  • Over 500 can be found under the kitchen sinks or in the laundry rooms of American homes
  • Over 800 neuro toxic chemical compounds are used in the cosmetic and perfume industries.

Propylene Glycol: The Anti-Freeze Ingredient

Propylene Glycol everywhere! It’s the main ingredient in … anti-freeze, what is it then doing in shampoos, deodorant, cosmetics, lotions and toothpaste? You need to understand what it could do to your health:

What is Propylene Glycol?

American Heritage Encyclopedia Dictionary: Propylene Glycol is a colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid, used in anti-freeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. Also called ‘propanediol’.

Where is it Used?

It is used in: Anti-freeze, brake and hydraulic fluid, de-icer, paints and coatings, floor wax, laundry detergents, pet food, tobacco, and also in…. cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, processed foods and many more personal care items.

What Does it Do?

Propylene Glycol also serves as a Humectant – a substance that helps retain moisture content, or simply – it prevents things from drying out.

That’s why some pet foods are soft and chewy. This, of course, is a good reason its in cosmetics and other personal care items. It makes the skin feel moist and soft. And, the products don’t dry out. Propylene Glycol is also found in baby wipes and even some processed foods!

How Much of it is O.K?

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): Propylene Glycol: Implicated in contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities: can inhibit skin cell growth in human tests and can damage cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage.

Acute Effects

May be harmful by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption. May cause eye irritation, skin irritation. Exposure can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, headache and vomiting, central nervous system depression.

The American Academy of Dermatologists, Inc.; Jan. ‘91: A published clinical review showed propylene glycol causes a significant number of reactions and was a primary irritant to the skin even in low levels of concentrations.

What Can Propylene Glycol Do To Us?

The problem is propylene glycol may be absorbed through the skin. So far there are no long range tests existing to determine possible side effects from constant use of these products. A few questions we might ask ourselves: Do these complex chemicals build up in our bodies? If Propylene Glycol keeps things from drying out – how? If it’s absorbed into our bloodstream and into our cells, what does it do? Does it affect any of the simple, natural biological functions at the cellular level?

What is Sodium Laurl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in harsh detergents. Also, it’s used as a surfactant to break down the surface tension of water, Industrial uses include: Concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car wash detergents.

What Can SLS Do to Your Organic Tissue?

Higughi, Araya and Higughi; School of Medicine, Tohoku Univ.; Sendai 980, Japan: SLS is a mutagen, It is capable of changing the information in genetic material found in cells. SLS has been used in studies to induce mutations in bacteria.

Journal of the American College of Toxicology; Vol. 2, No. 7, 1983: SLS is routinely used in clinical studies to irritate skin tissue. SLS corrodes hair follicles and impairs ability to grow hair. Carcinogenic Nitrates can form when SLS interacts with other nitrogen bearing ingredients. SLS enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact SLS denatures protein, impairs proper structural formation of young eyes – damage permanent. SLS can damage the immune system; cause separation of skin layers and cause inflammation to the skin.

SLS Effect in Toothpaste

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is great for degreasers, and it’s a favorite of the toothpaste manufacturers. In fact, we found it in every brand we could find! If it can help eat grease off concrete, what’s a little left over lunch debris? These products are not intended to be swallowed. So, the question is, does any SLS get into your system? Many medications recommend placing a few drops under the tongue for best absorption…and fastest, usually 30 seconds or less! This is the best place for absorption into the body. Do you think any toothpaste might get under your tongue when brushing? Especially, if you brush for a minute or two? Could SLS be absorbed? Shampooing?

A Medical Study That Hits Home

Keith Green, PH.D., D.Sc., Medical College of Georgia: ’Detergent Penetration into Young and Adult Eyes, Research to Prevent Blindness’

Dr. Green’s study reveals some of the most compelling and alarming evidence indicating that SLS should be avoided.

SLS is rapidly taken up and accumulated by eye tissues, and retained for up to 5 days. SLS uptake is greater in younger mammals . SLS denatures proteins of eye tissues – impairing development – permanently.

SLS extends the healing time of the cornea surface to 10 days…far beyond the norm of 2 days. Tissues of young eyes may be more susceptible to alteration by SLS. SLS is absorbed through skin contact and is retained for up to 5 days.

Our eyes develop most during our first few years. We dowse ourselves and kids with SLS and we have more and more people wearing contacts and glasses.

What Is Talc?

Talc is a very fine substance, so fine it can be used as a ‘dry’ lubricant. Talc is chemically similar to asbestos, a known cancer causing substance. Talc is found in many ‘body and baby’ powders, feminine powders and many cosmetics. It’s also used as a lubricant on condoms. While it makes your skin ‘feel’ slippery smooth; talc does so much more.

What Does Talc Do?

Candace Sue Kasper, MD; Dr. P.J. Chandler: Talc’s harmful effect on human tissue has been known for quite some time. Long ago, its dry lubricating properties were used as a glove-donning powder (easy to slide on) for surgical gloves. As early as the 1930s, Talc was linked to post-operative granulomatous peritonitis and fibrous adhesions.

Nutrition Health Review, Summer 1995 n73 p8(1): Talc…(on condoms)…may result in fallopian tube fibrosis with resultant infertility. Question raised by Doctors Kasper and Chandler InJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 3/15/95

‘A Possible tie between talcum <thorn>powder and ovarian cancer, long suspected because of talc’s chemical similarity to asbestos, was strongly supported last week when a study found a higher risk of the cancer among women who dusted themselves with talc or used feminine deodorant sprays. The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that women who used talcum powder in the genital area had an increased ovarian cancer risk of 60% and women who used feminine deodorant sprays had a 90% increased risk.’

Where is Alcohol Used?

Alcohol is used in many forms in many products, not just beverages (booze). Mouthwash in general has a higher alcohol content than beer, wine and many liquors.

How can it effect us?

National Cancer Institute, 4/22/91: Mouthwashes with an alcohol content of 25% or higher have been implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancers. Alcohol acts as a solvent in the mouth making tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens. Men had a 60% higher risk and women a 90% higher risk of these cancers, compared to those not using the mouthwash.

Wall Street Journal, 4/23/91 pg B1: About the same time, Warner-Lambert Co. announced it was developing a lower alcohol formula of its popular mouthwash, which has (had) an alcohol content of 26.9%. Company CEO stated the lower alcohol formula is ‘coincidental. It’s not directed at any cancer problem.’

What is Aluminum?

Aluminum is a metal, the third most common element in the environment, and a toxin in the body. You’ll find it in processed foods, antiperspirants, antacids, cosmetics, paper products, beverage cans, foil, table salt and cookware.

How Does it Effect Us?

Public Health Reports, Nov-Dec 1993 v108 n6p798 (2): World Health Organization conducted a study on chemical pollution and the elderly…’There is a suspected link between Alzheimer’s disease and the toxicity of aluminum…autopsies have found high concentrations of the metal in the brain of people who had suffered from the disease.’

Natural Health, May-June 1993 v23 n3 p54 (2): ‘Studies linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease…’The evidence is strong enough that the prudent person will eliminate all food and cosmetic sources of aluminum and will use aluminum cooking utensils only if they’re coated,’ suggests Gary Price Todd, M.D., author Nutrition, Health and Disease.’

The University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, April 1993 v9 n7 p1(2): Dr. Daniel Perl, Director of Neuropathology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, suggests,’…avoid aerosol antiperspirants. Aluminum in aerosol form may be more readily absorbed into the brain through nasal passages.’

Natural Health, May-June 1993 v23 n3 p54(2): ‘Aluminum-containing antiperspirants are designed to be absorbed, and studies show that regular use of these products can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as three-fold. (also)…municipal water supplies… treated with alum (aluminum sulfate)…at least 7 studies show that people drinking water high in alum are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.’

Alzheimer’s disease is now the 4th leading cause of death among the elderly, behind heart disease, cancer and stroke. A mere half century ago Alzheimer’s disease was virtually unheard of.

Natural Health, May-June 1993 v23: To reach the brain, aluminum must pass the blood-brain barrier, an elaborate structure that filters the blood. Elemental aluminum doesn’t easily pass this barrier, but aluminum compounds found in many consumable products do. Aspirin is commonly buffered with aluminum hydroxide or glycinate. If you drink some orange juice, the citric acid transforms these compounds into aluminum citrate – five times better able to find its way to the brain. If the aluminum in food combines with maltol, a sugar-like additive used in many baked goods, its capacity to pass the blood-brain barrier increases by as much as 90 times.


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