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Top Ten Toxic Items

Do you ever wonder what are the ingredients in your daily personal care products like cosmetics,shampoo,facial wash,toothpaste.....etc.

Below you will find in some of the worst offenders in personal care and cosmetics. Please take a few minuets to turn over your products at home and see if any of these chemicals are listed.

1. Mineral Oil

Used in many personal-care products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!), this ingredient actually coats the skin just like plastic wrap, disrupting the skin's natural immune barrier and inhibiting its ability to breathe and absorb the Natural Moisture Factor (moisture and nutrition). As the body's largest organ of elimination, it is vital that the skin be free to release toxins. But mineral oil impedes this process, allowing toxins to accumulate, which can promote acne and other disorders. It also slows down skin function and normal cell development, resulting in premature aging of the skin (AKA...Petrolatum or Parafin)

2. Alcohol (Isopropyl)

As a solvent and denaturant (a poisonous substance that changes another substance's natural qualities), alcohol is found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions, fragrances, and many other cosmetics and personal care products. A petroleum-derived substance, it is also used in antifreeze and as a solvent in shellac and diluted essential oils. According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, ingestion or inhalation of the vapor may cause headaches, flushing dizziness, mental depressions, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anaesthesia, and coma. The fatal ingested dose is one ounce.

3. Fragrance

Most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care, and baby products contain fragrance. Many of the compounds in fragrances are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most, or all, of them are synthetic. Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Clinical observation by medical doctors has shown that hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes."

4. Parabens

A recent report is questioning the safety of the most common group of cosmetic preservatives called "parabens". Researchers from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry of Brunel University in the United Kingdom have conducted a study and found that the parabens - alkyl hydroxy parabens – alpha hydroxy benzoate (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butyl-paraben) are weakly estrogenic. In other words, these preservatives have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body with butylparaben being the most potent.

"Given their use in a wide range of commercially available topical preparations, it is suggested that the safety in use of these chemicals should be reassessed, with particular attention being paid to estimation of the actual levels of systemic exposure of humans exposed to these chemicals."

"The study of this group of chemicals in products such as skin care, makeup and deodorants has found that the substances can have adverse effects when injected under the skin of laboratory animals. Scientists believe that the parabens may be absorbed through pregnant women's skin, where they then may act as an alien female hormone. A male exposed to this hormone as a fetus may develop fertility problems as an adult.

"It is estimated that 99 percent of all cosmetic and body care products contain some form of the paraben preservatives. If this is the case, other safe alternatives need to be developed for widespread use in the cosmetics industry. Be a smart shopper and look for paraben-free products."

5. Propylene Glycol (PG)

As a "surfactant" or wetting agent and solvent, PG is actually the active component in antifreeze. There is no difference between what is used in industry and what is used in personal care products. Industry uses it to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of), yet it is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and is even used in food processing. Because of PG's ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with this toxic substance. PG's Material Safety Data Sheets warn against skin contact because PG has systemic consequences, such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn't even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than that of most industrial applications.


There is a lot of information - and misinformation - in the media about these surfactants. Several internet websites, particularly those concerned with human health and environmental safety, list all of the reasons their products do not contain SLS or SLES. Other sites, such as "urban legends" sites, and specifically those sites that advertise products containing SLS or SLES, claim that all of the information showing SLS and/or SLES to be at least worth further study, if not downright dangerous, is nothing but hype.

SLS/SLES is a detergent, wetting agent, and emulsifier. It is used in about 98% of all "personal care" products as well as other products; hand and body creams, depilatories, bubble baths, hair color kits, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, shaving cream, shower gel, facial cleansers, "baby wipes", "soapless" shampoos, and many others.

It is sometimes listed as "coconut oil" or "from coconuts" because it is originally derived from coconuts. However, pure, unprocessed coconut oil is NOT SLS. The American College of Toxicology says that SLS stays in the body up to five days. Other studies show it easily penetrates the skin, and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs, and even the brain.

SLS can form nitrates and nitrosamines (potent carcinogens that cause the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than even nitrate-contaminated food, such as some hot dog meats or some bacon). Particularly in combination with the DEA, TEA , and MEA(Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine, and Monoethano- lamine, themselves very questionable ingredients)SLS/SLES has been found capable of producing these carcinogens. The FDA is currently studying the problem of the Di-, Mono-, and Tri- ethanolamines and is considering legal options at this time.


These "mouthful" chemicals (diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolmine) are hormone-disrupting chemicals known to form nitrates and nitrosamines, often in conjunction with other chemicals present in a product, e.g., Cocamide DEA, or Lauramide DEA. They are almost always in products that foam; bubble bath, body wash, shampoo, soap, facial cleanser. On the TV show "CBS This Morning", Roberta Baskin said that " It [DEA] is in hundreds of cosmetic products,,,,,but it does something more than make soap bubbles...A Federal government study says that DEA and DEA-based detergents have been shown to greatly increase the risk of cancer, especially liver and kidney cancer…."

John Bailey, head of the cosmetic division for the FDA, says that the new study is especially important since "the risk equation changes significantly for children." Tests at the University of Bologna in Italy found TEA to be the most frequent sensitizer used in cosmetics, gels, shampoos, creams, lotions, etc.

  8. Urea (Imidazolidinyl) & DMDM Hydantoin

These are just two of many preservatives that release formaldehyde (called "formaldehyde donors"). According to the Mayo Clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. It can also aggravate coughs and colds, and trigger asthma. Other possible side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer. Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients are very common in nearly all store brands of skin, body, and hair care, antiperspirants, and nail polish. A more complete list of products that contain formaldehyde can be found in the book by Doris J. Rapp, M.D., titled, Is This Your Child's World?

9. FD&C Color Pigments 

According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, "....many [pigments] cause skin sensitivity and irritation....and absorption [of certain colors] can cause depletion of oxygen in the body, and death" . InHome Safe Home, author Debra Lynn Dadd says that"....colors that can be used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics....are made from coal tar. There is a great deal of controversy about their use, because animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic." 

10. F luoride