| also: dehp, dinp, dbp, didp, dnop, bbp |
Phthalates can act as lubricants and solvents. They are commonly used to make plastic more durable and flexible, and are found in many consumer products, including perfume, nail polish, beauty products, medications, medical devices (like IV Tubing), food wrap and children’s toys.
allergen that can create asthmatic reaction
pre-natal exposure can lead to birth defects
potentially contributes to breast cancer
Over time, phthalates diffuse into products' surrounding environments, leaching onto air particles, water, food, dust and more.
Since February 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has restricted several phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and BBP) from use in the manufacturing of children’s toys and articles in concentrations exceeding 0.1 percent.
| also: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben |
Parabens are used as preservatives in most personal care, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. You can find them listed in the ingredients of many shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, spray tanning solutions and toothpaste. Among other health concerns, parabens can cause skin reactions like contact dermatitis, rosacea and increased skin aging.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology indicated that parabens, which act like estrogen, may play a role in the development of certain types of breast cancer.
| also: formalin, formic aldehyde, methanediol, methanal, methyl aldehyde, methylene glycol, methylene oxide |
Formaldehyde acts as a preservative, disinfectant and biocide. It is commonly found in nail polish, shampoo, gels, liquid soaps and adhesives like eyelash glue.
The EU limits the amount of formaldehyde in finished products to a maximum of 0.2%.
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed a bill limiting the allowable amount of formaldehyde emissions from wood products like hardwood plywood and particle board to .09 ppm.
The 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act declared formaldehyde as a toxic substance.
| also: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) & sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) |
Sulfates are used as detergents and surfactants in many soaps, shampoos and toothpastes.
dry, flaky skin
The American College of Toxicology found that sulfates can cause eye malformation in children.
| also: PEG |
Polyethylene glycol is used to dissolve oil and grease, as well as to thicken products. It can be found in the majority of personal care products
damaging to the immune system
The popular PEG-containing laxative, MiraLax, was flagged in the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) for its connection to neuropsychiatric events.
Read the labels when buying common household items, including cleaning agents and personal care products. Where possible, avoid the aforementioned chemicals and opt for products with all-natural or organic ingredients. You'll find that there are many great natural alternatives to these toxic chemicals with similar effects. For instance, grapeseed fruit extract is a great natural replacement for parabens.