CHECK YOUR LABELS BEFORE YOU BUY. AVOID THESE INGREDIENTS.
Acetone. Used in nail polish remover, some adhesives, art products, paint removers &
strippers. It is a neurotoxin and a strong skin & eye irritant. Causes adverse effects on the
respiratory and nervous system.
Acid Blue 9. Used in toilet bowl cleaners & deodorisers. It is carcinogenic.
Alcohol Isopropyl (SD40). Used in numerous skin and hair care products, antibacterial hand
washes, shellac and antifreeze. It is very drying and irritant.
Ammonia chloride. Used in toilet bowl cleaners & deodorisers. It is corrosive to eyes and can
cause permanent damage.
Artificial Colours. Used in skincare products. Moisturizers with artificial colours and presents a
particular hazard in skin care products. FD&C Blue 1 and FD&C Green 3 are carcinogenic, and
D&C Red 33, FD&C Yellow 5, and FC&C Yellow 6 have been shown to cause cancer when applied
to the skin. Some artificial coal-tar colours contain heavy-metal impurities, including arsenic and
lead, which are carcinogenic (and toxic in other ways as well). Since moisturizers lie on large
areas of the skin for extended periods of time, exposures are increased.
Butylated hydroxianisole (BHA)/Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Used in lipsticks,
eyeliner, foamy shaving cream, brush less shaving cream, moustache wax, baby oil and baby
lotion. BHT is a suspected human carcinogen. Animal studies showed BHA & BHT to cause
metabolic stress, depression of growth rate, loss of weight, damage to the liver, baldness & fetal
abnormalities. Dr Benjamin Feingold claims BHA & BHT are causes of hyperactivity and
behavioural disturbances in children. Whilst difficult to substantiate, observations have shown
that avoidance of BHA & BHT has significantly improved children's conditions. BHA & BHT both act
as a synthetic oestrogen or xeno-oestrogen. This can causes allergic contact dermatitis. It is a
skin & eye irritant and slowly corrodes metals. BHT is absorbed through the skin.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine). Probably the
most commonly used chemicals in cosmetics, often under the names Cocamide DEA or MEA,
Lauramide DEA etc. Also present in detergents, liquid soaps, polishers, cutting oils, lubricating
liquids, as a solvent for numerous drugs & household cleaning products. It is a mild skin & severe
eye irritant. It can react with nitrites to form highly potent carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Nitrosamines have been shown to readily penetrate the skin. NDELA (a nitrosamine) was found in
27 of the 29 products tested in 2 surveys in 1991. Repeated skin applications of DEA-based
detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancers.
Dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. Used in some bathroom cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners &
deodorisers. It can cause severe eye & skin irritation.
Formaldehyde. Used in thousands of cosmetics - shampoos, mascara, creams (especially anti-
aging), face makeup, anti-dandruff shampoos, bubble baths, nail products & some deodorants.
One of the chemicals used to make fabrics wrinkle free. Used in car cleaners & a wide range of
consumer items especially paints & related products. Off gassed from furniture & building
products (in particular particle board & laminated wood). The most insidious toxin in homes,
particularly new homes. Known to cause eye, nose & throat irritation, coughing, asthma attacks,
shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, nosebleeds, headaches & dizziness. It is a
strong skin irritant and sensitiser & a suspected human carcinogen (known rodent carcinogen). It
is known to cause serious weakening of the immune system. It is released through the
breakdown of many chemicals, including paints, imidiazolidinyl urea.
Fragrance. Used in personal care products to moisturize skin. Causes birth defects, reproductive
impairments, and liver damage in lab animals. Manufacturers are not required to list the
ingredients used in "fragrance," but common ingredients also include methylene chloride, toluene,
methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, ethyl alcohol and benzyl chloride, all of which are
hazardous and can cause allergic reactions.
Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin. Used in numerous skin body and hair care
products, antiperspirants, nail polish. These ingredients release formaldehyde. Health impacts as
Lanolin (non Organically Certified). Used in moisturisers, baby creams. Lanolin tends to be
contaminated with pesticides due to frequent sheep dipping to control parasites & diseases.
Diazanon, a neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide, was found in 21 of the 25 samples analysed
where a total of 16 pesticides were found. Breastfeeding mothers are advised against using it due
to the high concentrations of chemical residues found.
Mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin wax/oil, liquidum paraffinum. Used in baby oil,
moisturisers. This is a petroleum by-product derived from crude petrol or oil. It acts like a plastic
wrap and thus inhibits the skin's ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture thereby disrupting
the skin's natural immune barrier. It also impedes the skin's ability to eliminate toxins that can
promote acne and other skin disorders. This process slows down the skin function and normal cell
development causing the skin to prematurely age. Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated
with cancer causing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl). Preservatives used in wide range of cosmetics & other
household products. It has allergenic and endocrine disrupting effects.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG). Used in oven cleaners, face cleansers it is found in some vegetable
emulsifiers. Polyethylene glycol contributes to stripping the natural moisture and nutrition in the
skin leaving the immune system vulnerable and producing signs of premature ageing. It is
Propylene glycol (PG) (1,2- Propanedial). This is the active ingredient in antifreeze. Found in
most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after shaves, deodorants, mouthwashes and
toothpastes. PG is a petroleum derivative that penetrates the skin and can weaken protein &
cellular structure. There is no difference between PG used in industry or in personal care
products. The MSDS warns against skin contact due to systemic consequences such as brain, liver
and kidney abnormalities and so the EPA recommends protective clothing. It is strong enough to
remove barnacles from boats. It is an eye, throat, respiratory tract and skin irritant. Trials have
shown it to be an animal carcinogen and teratogen.
Polyvinyl pyrrolodene (PVP) Copolymer. Used in hair sprays, makeup, shampoos & creams.
Petroleum-derived. It is a suspected human teratogen & carcinogen.
Quaternary ammonium compounds. Cleaners & laundry fabric softeners, aerosol deodorants,
aftershave lotions, anti-dandruff shampoos, hair colourings, mouthwashes, hand creams,
shampoos & much more. It is an eye & skin irritant. Concentrations as low as 0.1 percent are
irritating to the eye & mucous membranes. Ingestion can be fatal.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Used in soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, tooth paste, children’s
soaps/shampoos, body wash, shave cream, mascara, mouthwash, skin cleanser, moisture
lotion/moisturizer, sun cream. It is an eye and scalp irritation and can cause swelling of the
hands, face and arms. Is an endocrine disruptor having an oestrogenic effect.
Talc. Used in home & garden pesticides, talc & baby powders. Carcinogenic when inhaled. May
contain traces of asbestos.
Tetrasodium EDTA. Used in bathroom cleaners, many skin care products & cosmetics. Eye
Triclosan (2,4,4 Trichloro-2- Hydroxdiphenylether). Used in toothpaste. Moderately toxic by
ingestion and can be contaminated by dioxins & dibenzofurans which are highly toxic to humans.