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Part One of a Series, exposing greenwashing and chemical toxicity in our trusted products


You won’t find it on the label…but it appears in many of our everyday products.  It’s called 1,4-dioxane and is used as a solvent.  It’s one of the “Top Toxins” to avoid in our homes and on our bodies, yet it’s prevalent in many of our soaps, shampoos, skin care and other products.  It’s among the worst of the synthetic sinisters, so I decided to blow the whistle on it first.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers 1,4-dioxane a probable human carcinogen. (EPA, 2003).  Take a look at the list of carcinogens based on OSHA’s definition of Select Carcinogens in 2009.  Our friend 1,4 Dioxane is company with Asbestos, Arsenic, Coal Tar…and pages more, I only got through the C’s, the list is enormous.  They also give their definition of a Carcinogen at the bottom of the document.

Caution Select Carcinogen sign1,4 Dioxane is in many of our skin care products, and penetrates easily through the skin.  There is evidence that links it directly to systemic cancer in a skin painting study in 2000.  Even though the FDA admits it would be easy to strip this chemical out of our products, the process has to be ‘voluntarily’ adopted by the manufacturers in the industry.  I guess that’s not as easy as it seems, since no such adoption effort has been made.

Even some trusted “organic” or “natural” (labeled) products contain this demon, including these leading brands, which shocked me.  I was a victim to the “greenwashing” by these companies and their claims:

JASON Pure Natural & Organic
Giovanni Organic Cosmetics
Kiss My Face
Nature’s Gate Organics

Find out more at the organic consumer’s website.  This watchdog group has over 500,000 members.  You can also find out more about how to make a difference with pending legislation efforts at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s website: www.safecosmetics.org


1.4-Dioxane can appear as a contaminant in products containing SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate, an ingredient found in 90% of commercial soaps and detergent).  It’s also found in ingredients including the terms “PEG”, “-xynol,” “ceteareth,” “oleth” and most other ethoxylated “eth” ingredients.  Generally, if you can’t easily pronounce it, look it up before you trust it!  Besides being a probably carcinogen, look at the proven effects of 1,4 Dioxane when tested on animals.  This is directly from the EPA website:

Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans.  It may also irritate the skin.  Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically (long-term) exposed in their drinking water. Tumors have been observed in orally exposed animals.  EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.

Here is a good “myth vs. Fact” sheet on 1,4-dioxane: