9. 1,4-dioxane – Primarily used as a solvent in manufacturing situations, it is also commonly found in personal care products because it is an accidental byproduct of the ethoxylation process that goes on when cosmetic products are made. A study by the Organic Consumers Association determined that that dioxane was inside many organic and natural products, and another study by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics found that when laboratory animals were tested with 1,4-dioxane at the lowest parts per billion level over the animal’s lifetime they developed cancer, and that the combined effects of lifetime exposure to 1,4-dioxane and other carcinogens can create synergistic effects, so that levels from multiple compounds add up and even multiply to create greater risk. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies 1,4-Dioxane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen, based on induction of nasal cavity and liver carcinomas in multiple strains of rats, liver carcinomas in mice, and gall bladder carcinomas in guinea pigs.
10. Butyl Cellosolve – Found in a wide variety of household cleaning agents like glass cleaners, oven cleaners, and general degreasers, it is also known as butyl glycol, Dowanol, Bane-Clene and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE), which has made it on to the list of California’s toxic air substances. Some animal studies indicate that it produces reproductive problems, such as testicular damage, reduced fertility, death of embryos and birth defects, and in humans, it can irritate mucous membranes and cause liver and kidney damage. More on Butyl Cellosolve.
Like I have said before, sometimes it is hard to avoid all toxic ingredients, but concentrating on eliminating some of the worst offenders from your products is a good way to start!
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