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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Sorting Fact From Fiction
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a very common chemical found in shampoos, hair conditioners, toothpaste, body washes bubble baths etc.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is also a strong and harsh detergent used in industry as a degreaser and a powerful wetting and foaming agent. Individuals and companies promoting cosmetics and personal care products that are free of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) have had a lot of mileage out of bad publicity SLS has received over the last few years.
What are the chemical company facts? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and mouth ulcers | SLS Free Toothpaste
SLS facts or fiction?... YOU decide!
As a concerned and aware consumer, do you really have anything to worry about as far as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is concerned? It would appear that we have two quite differing views about the safety of using and exposing the body to constant low levels of potentially toxic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). I feel it is only fair we look at the facts as they are reported by the chemical industry and by concerned individuals in regard to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. After all the tobacco industry told us for 30 years that smoking never caused cancer!... Can vested interests be believed? Look at how many scientific "experts" backed up what the tobacco industry wanted us to hear!
I would like to quote word for word as reported in the book "Health Wars" written by Investigative Medical Journalist Phillip Day: You make up your own mind about the wisdom of using Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) found in your shampoo personal care items and children's bubble bath!
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a very harsh detergent found in almost all shampoos and more than a few toothpastes. Pick up a cross section of these products next time you visit the supermarket and you will find Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS or Sodium Lauryth Sulfate (SLES) in pride of place under the ingredients label. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate started its career as an industrial degreasant and garage floor cleaner. When applied to human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer and then irritating and eroding the skin, leaving it rough and pitted. Studies (Judi Vance, Beauty To Die For, Promotion Publishing, 1998) have shown that:"
"Shampoos with SLS could retard healing and keep children's eyes from developing properly. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. (Summary of Report of Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. conference."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has a low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body. It builds up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes skin to flake and to separate and causes roughness on the skin."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is such a caustic cleanser that it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs the ability to grow hair."
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested." (Study cited by the Wall St Journal, 1st November 1998)
Ethoxylation: Ethoxylation is the process that makes degreasing agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) less abrasive and gives them enhanced foaming properties. When SLS is ethoxylated, it forms Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), a compound used in many shampoos, toothpastes, bath gels, bubble baths, and industrial degreasants. The problem is, the extremely harmful compound 1,4-dioxane may be created during the ethoxylation process, contaminating the product. 1,4-dioxane was one of the principal components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange used to great effect by the Americans during the Vietnam War to strip off the jungle canopy to reveal their enemy. 1,4-dioxane is a hormonal disrupter believed to be the chief agent implicated in the host of cancers suffered by Vietnam military personnel after the war. It is also an oestrogen mimic thought to increase the chances of breast cancer and endometrial cancer, stress related illnesses and lower sperm counts.
Dr Samuel Epstein (Author and research Scientist) reports: "The best way to protect yourself is to recognise ingredients most likely to be contaminated with the1,4-dioxane. These include ingredients with the prefix word, or syllable PEG, Polyethylene, Polyethylene Glycol, Polyoxyethylene, eth (as in sodium laureth sulfate) or oxynol. Both polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80 may also be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. (Epstein, Dr Samuel, Safe Shoppers Bible, P.190-191) Back to Top
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SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
MANUFACTURERS MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
Ingredients: SULPHURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; (SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE) Ingredient Sequence Number: 01
Unusual Fire And Explosion Hazards: EMITS TOXIC FUMES ON THERMAL DECOMPOSITION
Health Hazard Data
Route Of Entry - Inhalation: YES
Route Of Entry - Skin: YES
Route Of Entry - Ingestion: YES
Health Hazard Acute And Chronic: Back to Top
ACUTE: CAUSES MILD IRRITATION ON CONTACT WITH SKIN, EYES OR MUCOUS MEMBRANES. SKIN CONTACT COULD CAUSE IRRITATION OR ALLERGIC REACTION. MODERATELY TOXIC BY INGESTION.
CHRONIC: TESTS ON LAB ANIMALS INDICATE MATERIAL MAY CAUSE MUTAGENIC EFFECTS
Emergency/First Aid Procedure:
EYES: FLUSH THOROUGHLY W/WATER FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES
SKIN: WASH THOROUGHLY W/SOAP & WATER.
INHALATION: REMOVE TO FRESH AIR.
INGESTION: IF STILL CONSCIOUS, INDUCE VOMITING.
GET MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR ALL CASES OF EXPOSURE
Precautions for Safe Handling and Use Back to Top
KEEP CONTAINER CLOSED. STORE AT CONTROLLED ROOM TEMPERATURE. DO NOT BREATHE DUST. DO NOT GET IN EYES, ON SKIN, ON CLOTHING. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.
Respiratory Protection: NIOSH/MSHA APPROVED RESPIRATOR APPROPRIATE FOR EXPOSURE OF CONCERN (FP N
Ventilation: MATERIAL SHOULD BE HANDLED OR TRANSFERRED ONLY IN AN APPROVED FUME HOOD OR W/ADEQUATE VENTILATION.
Protective Gloves: NEOPRENE, PVC OR EQUIVALENT GLOVES.
Eye Protection: ANSI APPROVED CHEMICAL WORKERS GOGGLES (FP N).
Other Protective Equipment: EYE WASH & SAFETY EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE READILY AVAILABLE.
Work Hygienic Practices: WASH THOROUGHLY AFTER HANDLING.
Supplementary Safety & Health Data: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER. Back to Top
Label Required: YES
Technical Review Date: 17MAY95
Label Date: 17MAY95
Label Status: M
Common Name: SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, DX2495
Chronic Hazard: YES
Signal Word: WARNING!
Acute Health Hazard: Moderate
Contact Hazard: Moderate
Fire Hazard: None Back to Top
Reactivity Hazard: None
Special Hazard Precautions:
ACUTE: CAUSES MILD IRRITATION ON CONTACT WITH SKIN, EYES OR MUCOUS MEMBRANES. SKIN CONTACT COULD CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTION.
MODERATELY TOXIC BY INGESTION.
CHRONIC: TESTS ON LAB ANIMALS INDICATE MATERIAL MAY CAUSE MUTAGENIC EFFECTS.
Protect Eye: YES
Protect Skin: YES
Protect Respiratory: YES
Potential Health Effects: Back to Top
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Overexposure: May cause skin irritation. May cause burns to eyes.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic overexposure: Prolonged skin contact my cause dermatitis and skin sensitization. May cause eye burns.
Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure: Sensitive skin.
Ingestion: Relative to other materials, as single dose of this product is rarely toxic by ingestion. Irritation of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus and stomach can develop following ingestion. Back to Top
Well there you have it! You make your own mind up about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is found in virtually all over the counter shampoos toothpastes and personal cleaning products. Safe Products
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