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Poisons in your bathroom.....

©2015 The Media Desk

      And so now it's time to come to a conclusion. Well, no, it is a bit early in the game for that, but trust the Desk on this one. We're all better off getting it out of the way now.

      With select few exceptions, EVERYTHING listed in our article is probably relatively safe for use, as intended, in its product, just as the manufacturer, the FDA, and even your grandmother said.
      But Hold It Right There! That's the problem isn't it? Many of these are in damned near everything. We're not going to apologize for the expletive there. That is an accurate statement, and, when you consider exactly what some of these chemicals are capable of doing to the human body, not to mention in the environment, you might use it too.
      You're not just being exposed to it in your shampoo, it is also in the conditioner you use, another form of the same thing is in the body wash, its cousin is in the hand lotion, and the same thing by another name is in your the deodorant. You have five or six times the daily 'safe' level of exposure, and you're not even out of the bathroom yet.
      So when somebody says they're going to "do a de-tox", maybe they should start by not bathing!

      Oh, by the way. If you suddenly go through your cabinet and throw out everything with this horror-show list of poisons, toxins, hazards, and just plain nasty stuff in them, you might have to call the Haz-Mat team to dump your trash.

      OK, conclusion over. Let's go see what we're talking about.....

What's in it?

a Media Desk essay
[NOTE: Going in, the Desk DOES NOT DIRECTLY SELL ANYTHING, other than a book or five. If you want one, see link below. In the interest of full disclosure, it does, however, have friends and relatives that do trade in various consumer products that, as a rule, don't have a warning to call Poison Control if you accidentally swallow some of it. no, we're not kidding, read the product information below! Thank you.]

      If possible, go to your bathroom, or dresser, or perhaps locker or gym bag, and find a bottle or tube of something like, say, shampoo, or skin cream. Maybe a cosmetic of some sort, or even something like a deodorant, after shave, whatever.... And Look At The Ingrediants.

      And so somebody just said, "yeah, I know, it's a bunch of big words, a chemistry book, so what?"

      The point being, that you should know that every one of those big words means something. In fact, there are several of them that mean the Same Thing, with only a slight difference, which, in any other format would be considered irrelevant. Such as, one version may be a liquid ingredient, and then, later, the same compound is listed only this time it is a powder. To those that write ingredient lists, they ARE different, and that way they keep the percentage of whatever it is down to an acceptable level. However, to your body, they're both something probably best not 'consumed' in one way or another.
      For a real world example we'll move out of the bathroom and into the pantry. "High Fructose Corn Syrup" is a favorite target these days, so some manufacturers are changing the wording to move it further down the list, by cutting back on the amount of it, and instead including "cane juice concentrate". Guess what? They are both sugar!

      Other compounds are dangerous in and of themselves. Others react with other stuff, and then turn into something that's not so good for you if you breathe it or swallow it. And, don't look now, but many of them can penetrate your skin and go directly in to your bloodstream.

      So, let's get to some real world examples found in the Desk's own house, or, in one case, its RV. And if you say "Oh, we don't use that one, we use, some other one.... Go Read The Label!

      We'll begin with one or two that are not quite so bad..... But what they're in might make you cringe. And remember, these are only two out of one of those "chemistry book" lists of ingredients on a single product.

Phenoxyethanol a glycol ether, stabilizer in perfumes and preservative

Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Japan - restricted for use in cosmetics (concentration limit) - Japan's Standards for Cosmetics
Limited evidence of nervous toxicity - National Library of Medicine, HazMap database
Classified as toxic or harmful (only for products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips) - European Union - Classification & Labelling

Tetrasodium EDTA helps maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity

Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful - Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

"Oral exposures to EDTA produced adverse reproductive and developmental effects in animals."

      "And, what product, pray thee tell, are those in?"
      Baby Shampoo. Ingredient list and link below.

      And, it is worth noting that EDTA products are also found in, well, soft drinks, among others.

      Don't worry. It goes downhill from here.

      Oh, yes, one of the other ingredients in the baby shampoo is "Potassium Acrylates Copolymer", which is a thickener and 'water binding agent', some of its more famous kinfolk are used in everything from laundry detergent to disposable diapers and artificial snow.

      Moving on.

Cyclopentasiloxane/ Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane / etc silicone based compound, conditioner, delivery agent, lubricant and solvent

Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife - Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)

One or more animal studies show tumor formation at moderate doses - Dow Corning Corporation

One or more animal studies show endocrine disruption at moderate doses - (multiple sources listed)

      That was in an 'hydrating skin lotion', and another form of the same basic thing was in a regular lotion, AND in a solid deodorant, and in, well, that's enough for now. Links below.

Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone "...a preservative mixture at a fixed combination (ratio 3/1), which is commonly used in cosmetic and industrial applications and can be found in cosmetics, especially shampoos, dermatological products, mainly sunscreens, household cleaning products, paints, moist toilet paper, metalworking fluids" - (see below)

Restricted in cosmetics - multiple sources listed.
Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence / moderate evidence - multiple sources listed.
The isothiazolinones are, perhaps the most potent allergens on the consumer market. They are very effective preservatives. However, under suitable dilution and exposure conditions, even the most potent allergen can be used safely.

"Recent reports have shown increased sensitization to Methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone." (and description above)

      They were in an "Oil of Olay" product Mrs. Desk had bought at some point, as well as a foaming hand soap, some 'wipes', and so on.
      Which brings us to this:

The Olay Promise:
Olay is committed to providing safe products to our consumers. Ensuring the safety of our products is a responsibility that Olay takes very seriously. ....
Each year, Olay conducts over 400,000 safety and quality tests to ensure an excellent experience for women around the world.
All Olay ingredients must be substantiated for safety over a lifetime of intended use prior to manufacturing. (see link below)

      How can you justify that statement with those above that say otherwise?

      Nevermind. Moving on.

Smile, if you can

All Colgate Total® toothpastes are gluten free.
      Well that's nice to know.
      Yet they have to say:
"Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." (hot link below)

      One of the active ingredients is fluoride. Which we've all been told for years is a good thing to have in toothpaste. And, then, in drinking water.

Health Hazards: Neurotoxic and potentially tumorigenic if swallowed; the American Dental Association advises that children under 2 not use fluoride toothpaste,28804,1976909_1976895_1976898,00.html

      Oh well. Who ever swallows ANY toothpaste?

      One of the other ingredients is Propylene Glycol. Antifreeze by another name, first cousin of the infamous Ethylene Glycol of song and story.

Appearance: colorless viscous liquid.
Caution! May cause eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation. Hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air).
Target Organs: Central nervous system. ... Ingestion: May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

      Another is Sodium Saccharin which you may be familiar with, but the reasons to be familiar with it have changed slightly:
"Saccharin sodium may cause some individuals to experience a potentially severe allergic reaction, mainly due to the presence of sulfonamides. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to saccharin include headache, difficulty breathing, the sudden appearance of a skin rash or hives and diarrhea."

      And: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It makes stuff foam nicely, makes it 'wetter', keeps the ingredients in their emulsion, and so on.

Synonyms: SDS; Sodium lauryl sulfate; Dodecyl sodium sulfate; Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester, sodium salt; SLS; Dodecyl hydrogen sulfate sodium salt.
EMERGENCY OVERVIEW Appearance: white solid. Causes eye and skin irritation. Warning! May cause respiratory tract irritation.
Target Organs: Eyes, skin.
Potential Health Effects
Eye: Causes eye irritation.
Skin: Causes skin irritation. Contact with the skin defats the skin. Sodium lauryl sulfate can produce allergic sensitivity reactions. May produce drying
Chronic: Repeated exposure may cause allergic respiratory reaction (asthma). Chronic inhalation may lead to decreased pulmonary function.

      ... ... ... And it's in toothpaste.
      And shampoo.
      Lotion, body wash, baby bath, dish soap, laundry detergent.....
      And, shall we say it again, Damned Near Everything Else.

      Which brings us back to the conclusion we began with.

      One Exposure to this stuff Per Day. Might not EVER cause a problem.

      But. So many of them are In Everything.

      Is there any wonder why 'everybody' is 'always sick'?


Links to outside sources below. All were working as of 16 June 2015.
Outside links will open in new window.


Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride 0.24% (0.15% w/v fluoride ion) - Anticavity, Triclosan(copolymer) 0.30% - Antigingivitis
Inactive Ingredients: Hydrated Silica, Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, PVM/MA Copolymer, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Flavor, Sodium Hydroxide, Carrageenan, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Saccharin, Titanium Dioxide

Baby shampoo:

Water (eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Acrylates Copolymer, Yellow 6, Yellow 10, Parfum

Antiperspirant solid:

Ingredients/Chemical Name Solid Mixture - Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, Talc, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyethylene Silica, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentadecalactone Or Fragrance, Behenyl Alcohol

The Olay® product:

Water/EAU, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance/Parfum, Trideceth-3, Citric Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Acrylonitrile/Methacrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Isopentane, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium Edta, PEG-90M, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxide, Orchis Morio Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Violet 2

The Olay Promise.

Other Resources

TIME Magazine: Top 10 Common Household Toxins,29569,1976909,00.html

The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics With several pages of information:

Source of much of the toxicology information in this article :

Environmental Working Group

A clearinghouse of Material Safety Data Sheets, so you can look up the rest of the Big Words in your toothpaste:

And brand new article about one not mentioned in our greatest hits list:

(CBS Atlanta) - Recent studies have suggested that hand sanitizer is bad for you. Triclosan, the active ingredient in hand sanitizer, can kill off the good bacteria on your hands and allow anti-biotic resistant bad bacteria to grow.
Now a study finds that using hand sanitizer can actually increase the skin’s absorbtion of a dangerous chemical.

Other Media Desk NON FICTION articles. GMO food, and you

Something of a lighter topic: Cotton Eyed Joe "Everybody Dance!" to the great old song. History and links.

And THOSE BOOKS we mentioned.

[NOTE: The products listed above are owned by their individual companies or other entities, the Desk has no direct involvement in deciding which poison goes in which product, nor does it seek to. This article is intended to be the starting point for that, and other, conversations, and perhaps, legislation. thank you very much ]

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