Alchemy | 1,4 Dioxane
TRUTH | FOUND IN: Products that create suds (such as shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath), hair relaxers, others
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Sodium laureth sulfate, (cross contaminated) PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth
WHAT IS 1,4 DIOXANE?
1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh.
HEALTH CONCERNS: Cancer
VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: Pregnant women, infants, teenagers
REGULATIONS: Banned/found unsafe for use in cosmetics in Canada
HOW TO AVOID: The FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels because the chemical is a contaminant produced during manufacturing. Without labeling, there is no way to know for certain whether a product contains 1,4,-dioxane, making it difficult for consumers to avoid it.
1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity, may be found in as many as 22 percent of the more than 25,000 cosmetics products in the Skin Deep database , but you won’t find it on ingredient labels. That’s because 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant created when common ingredients react to form the compound when mixed together. See
1,4-Dioxane – is a heterocyclic organic compound, classified as an ether. It is a colorless liquid with a faint sweet odor similar to that of diethyl ether. Dioxane is classified by the National Toxicology Program as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen". It is also classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans because it is a known carcinogen in other animals.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies dioxane as a probable human carcinogen (having observed an increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies, but not in epidemiological studies of workers using the compound), and a known irritant (with a no-observed-adverse-effects level of 400 milligrams per cubic meter) at concentrations significantly higher than those found in commercial products. Under Proposition 65, dioxane is classified in the U.S. State of California to cause cancer.