DANGEROUS BEAUTY: Scientists Warn of Harmful Ingredients In Our Shampoos and Cosmetics
~ by David Lowell Kern
Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Eye Damage in Young Children
The greatest concern of many scientists is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a detergent found in about 90 percent of commercial shampoos. Also known as sodium dodecyl, sodium laureth sulfate (SLFS) this chemical has been shown to damage protein formation in eye tissue in young animals, raising serious concerns about the possibility of ocular tissue malformation, blindness in infants and young children. In animal studies, Sodium Laurel Sulfate penetration and uptake is much greater in neonatal and young animal eye tissue, compared to adult animals, showing "penetration into the eye, as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver, etc.)" SLS also showed long-term retention in tissues, up to 5 days after a single drop.1
Researcher Keith Green, Ph.D., D. Sc., of the Medical College of Georgia, also reports that Sodium Laurel Sulfate extends the healing of corneal tissue by a factor of 5, from 2 days (normal) to more than 10 days. He also has concerns about cataract formation from Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Writing for Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., Dr. Green states in part: There is an immediate concern relating to the penetration of these chemicals into the eye and other tissues. This is especially important in infants...exposure to SLS results in accumulation in eye tissues, a process that could retard healing and possibly have long-term effects. Dr. Green concludes that exposure to Sodium Laurel Sulfate sulfate causes improper eye development in children and that since Sodium Laurel Sulfate is absorbed systemically through the skin, it doesn't have to enter the eye directly.
Our own research found that SLS is present as a main ingredient in most commercial shampoos for adults or children.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate Toxicity and Cancer - Another serious health concern with SLS is its tendency to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine and potent carcinogen. According to a 1978 FDA report, shampooing the hair with a product contaminated with this nitrosamine can lead to its absorption into the body at levels much higher than eating nitrate- contaminated foods. (Researchers estimate the nitrate absorption from one shampoo is equal to eating a pound of bacon.) The FDA has recently warned shampoo manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin formation in products containing SLFS (dioxins are also dangerous carcinogenic compounds). Only laboratory testing can determine if a shampoo is contaminated with these powerful carcinogenic compounds.
Damage To Your Skin - Researchers have known for years that Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a skin irritant.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is implicated in premature hair loss in men and women, and may be one reason for wide-spread incidence of thinning hair.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is also implicated in scalp irritation, eczema, dandruff, and other scalp conditions. Many shampoos designed to alleviate dandruff, itching, and other scalp disorders may actually be causing the toxicity of Sodium Laurel Sulfate-containing formulas to the skin and scalp. Avoiding contact with this cytotoxic (cell- killing) chemical is all that many people require to completely alleviate scalp disorders.
Natural Brands Offer No Protection - Ingredient reviews of shampoos sold in health food stores under natural brands and labels have turned up many formulas containing Sodium Laurel Sulfate. The cost, reputation, or market position of a shampoo apparently has little to do with its contents. Some of the most reputable and exclusive brands contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Don't be fooled by high prices or marketing hype. You must check the ingredients on each product if you want to avoid the harmful effects of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.
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2. Br J Dermatol 1992 Sep
3. Contact Dermatitis 1992 Jul
4. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1991
5. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh) 1992
6. The Lancet, Feb 3, 1990
7. Contact Dermatitis 1993 Sep
8. Contact Dermatitis 1993 Mar and 1993 Feb
9. Contact Dermatitis 1992 Sep
10. Journal of Toxicology, Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, 1992
11. Toxicology Letters, Vol 26, 1985
12. Toxicol Pathol 1992
13. Govt Reports Announcements & Index, 1993
14. Acta Derma Venereol (Stockh) 1992
15. Department of Dermatology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
Here is list of ingredients to steer away from in our cosmetics and beauty products,and why. Unfortunately, due to the lax regulation in the U.S. the majority of these ingredients can be found in most of the products we use daily.