9 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Hand Soaps

Who knew that washing your hands could be harmful to you and the environment? A simple task that is meant to help prevent the spread of germs and infections can potentially be harming you and the planet instead.

We often don’t realize that even though the label says this certain soap can help kill 99% of all germs, you are unintentionally allowing toxic chemicals into your body and unknowingly letting these chemicals drain into the waterways making their way into the environment.

Here is a list of chemicals to avoid when buying hand soaps:

  1. Triclosan:

This chemical is added to many soaps and sanitizers to help get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria that build up throughout the day. Triclosan disrupts both the thyroid and the endocrine system and can bioaccumulates in the body. After contact with your skin it can remain there for hours.

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in soaps and is in approximately in 90% of personal care products that foam. SLS can damage cell membranes and possibly cause hair loss and is linked to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and possible mutations and cancer.

  1. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives that are added to bar soaps and other skin care products to preserve their shelf life. They have been linked to breast cancer (because they can mimic the action of the hormone estrogen and encourage the growth of human breast tumors) and can diminish muscle mass and extra fat storing.

  1. 1,4-Dioxane

Dioxane is a synthetic derivative of coconut which is why some people mistakenly assume it must be an okay ingredient to have in your soaps. In reality, Dioxane is considered a carcinogenic chemical and is considered a contaminant or by product of the ethoxylation process.

  1. Diethanolamine (DEA)

Diethanolamine is a wetting agent used in shampoos and soaps that is easily absorbed through your skin and combines with preservatives commonly added to soaps to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA).It is linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and organ system toxicity.

  1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is commonly found is soaps. It can weaken your immune system which could lead to a reduced resistance to germs and disease and can cause respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue and frequent headaches.

  1. Fragrance

Almost all hand soaps, dish soaps, cleaning products, etc. contains fragrances. Fragrance ingredients can increase your risk of chronic dizziness, nausea, rashes, depression, respiratory distress and severe headaches. Avoid products that have fragrance in the ingredients unless stated that its derived from essential oils.

  1. Synthetic Colors

Synthetic Color are made from coal tar and contain heavy metals salts that can deposit toxins onto your skin causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Almost all of them are carcinogenic.

  1. PEG-6

PEG-6 is very common in soaps; exposure to PEG-6 can cause a large increase in your likelihood of developing breast cancer.
All is not lost, Dolphin Blue offers safe alternative hand and dish soaps for your home and office. A small change can mean a huge impact for you, your family and the environment, so take the challenge and switch over to a better, safer alternative!

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Photo: Flickr/Northwest Power and Conservation Council

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Photo: Flickr/Ronald Sarayudej

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Personal care products have become a necessity in our daily lives. On average, people can use up to 15-20 cosmetic products a day; shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, makeup, etc.

U.S. researchers have reported that one eighth (10,250) of the 82,000 ingredients used in our personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins and hormone disruptors. These ingredients and chemicals can be easily consumed or absorbed into our bodies.

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Flame Retardants

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Infographic Friday: Lead in Toys

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