Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate
What: A major ingredient used in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair shampoo and conditioner. Lauryl and Laureth sulfates are derived from coconut oil, but Laureth goes through an ethoxylation process which results in 1,4 dioxane that causes cancer. It can be found in detergents, surfactants. Related compounds also found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers. Health effects: Damages immune system, especially skin. Easily penetrates skin and enters residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain. When mixed with other chemicals, it can form into nitrosamine, a potent class of carcinogen. The alternative: Look for products that have “glucose” or “glucoside” – for example, sodium lauryl glucose or lauryl glucose.