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There are tens of thousands of chemicals in our everyday personal care products, many of which pose serious health threats.  Xenoestrogens, respiratory toxins, neurotoxins.  We do our own independent research on every chemical that we post so you have the latest information available.

Tuesday
Mar042014

Cocamide DEA

Today's Chemical:

Cocamide DEA

EWG Risk Score:

7 

What is it?

Cocamide DEA is a foaming/detergent agent. 

Why is it a risk? 

  • Nitrosamine and 1,4-dioxane contamination 
    Cocamide DEA is created by reacting coconut fatty acids with a chemical called diethanolamine. Diethanolamine is created is made by reacting ethylene oxide and ammonia. Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen and traces of it, along with its carcinogenic by-product 1,4-dioxane can remain in the product. Because it is an amide, it also has the potential for being contaminated with or forming a class of carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines. 
  • Diethanolamide contaminaion
    Can contain free diethanolamide either from original processing or as a by-product that releases over time. DEA is a suspected blood toxin, liver toxin, kidney toxin, and neurotoxin. (Source) (Source)
  • Can be a contact allergen
    Uncommon, but it can be a contact allergen in some individuals. (Source
  • Skin issues
    Animal studies showed "incidences of epidermal and sebaceous gland hyperplasia, hyperkeratosis, chronic inflammation, and parakeratosis at the site of application." (Source)

 

Tuesday
Mar042014

Cocodiethanolamide

Cocodiethanolamide is another name for cocamide DEA. See Cocamide DEA

Tuesday
Dec312013

Tetrasodium EDTA

Today's Chemical:

Tetrasodium EDTA

EWG Risk Score:

2

What is it?

Tetrasodium EDTA is a perservative and chelating agent. It is made by reacting ethylenediamine, formaldehyde and hydrogen or sodium cyanide. 

What are its risks?

  • Animal studies have found it to be cytotoxic (liver toxin), a genotoxic (toxic to DNA, possibly leading to mutations) through oral ingestion. It has not been found to be carcinogenic (Source)  
  • By itself it's not highly absorbable through the skin, but due to its chelation properties, it is able to increase the absorption of other chemicals present. (Source
  • Harmful if used in a spray application, as it may cause asthma or respiratory irritation. (Source

 

Friday
Aug302013

Behentrimonium Methosulfate

Today's Chemical:

Behentrimonium Methosulfate

EWG Risk Score:

1

What is it?

Behentrimonium methosulfate is a quaternary ammonium compound used in conditioners, shampoos, and lotions to impart a slippery feel to the product. 

What are its risks?

  • There is not much data available on behentrimonium methosulfate itself, however, it is a quaternary ammonium compound. Some people are highly allergic to these chemicals (aka "quats") and can induce anaphalaxsis in certain individuals. 
  • Some quaternary ammonium compounds are known to be endocrine disruptors.  This ingredients has not been studied for reproductive or hormonal interference. 

For more information on quaternary ammonium compounds, visit this page.

Monday
Aug262013

AMMONIUM COCOYL ISETHIONATE 

Today's Chemical:

Ammonium cocoyl isethionate

EWG Risk Score:

0 (Should be higher!)

What is it?

Ammonium cocoyl isethionate is a surfactant/detergent used as a cleansing agent and to impart lather in shampoos, body washes, facial care, and toothpastes.

What are its risks?

  • Ammonium cocoyl isethionate can pose skin irritation depending on the individual's suseptibility and concentration used.  However, it is considered to be, generally, a milder option. (Source
  • Ammonium cocoyl isethionate is created by combining fatty acids with isethionic acid. Isethionic acid is created by combining sodium bisulfite in an aqueous solution and ethylene oxide.  Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen. Traces of ethylene oxide can remain in the product, along with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane. (Source