Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
EWG Risk Score:
What is it:
A widely used detergent and surfactant. It can be derived from coconut oil or petroleum by-products. It is commonly used as an industrial degreaser.
Why is it a risk?
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate is an ethoxylated compound. When it's created, it's processed with ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen. Traces of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane (another known carcinogen) can be found in the detergent. (Source)
- Sodium laureth sulfate is a known eye and skin irritant. (Source)
- SLES is found to be a penetration enhancer (Source)