You are one of many wanting to know dirty dozen checklist and what’s really in your products.

Did you know how easy it is to put around 200 questionable chemicals a day on your body through the use of personal care products and cosmetics?

All of which may build up and impact on the immune system!

Sadly there are questionable links to serious diseases as a result of these questionable ingredients…as if we do not have enough to worry about!

Controversial ingredients are used in many products because they’re cheap and are allowed. There are safer alternatives but actually cost a little more.

Dirty Dozen Checklist & Your Health

It is felt that these questionable ingredients are in such small quantities that they could not possibly impact  your health, but it seems no one has done any research on long term exposure.

It is really shocking and saddening how many harsh controversial chemicals are used in personal care products, especially baby care products??

Really?? Surely this isn’t legal?

Sadly it is!

We’ve listed a handful of common ingredients that have flagged up consistently in baby, beauty, laundry and personal care products. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. We would strongly recommend doing your own research.

Here you can judge for yourself if you and your family would be comfortable using products with these ingredients included. Plus, you can now form your own opinion based on the content that we’ve found.

So here is our hopefully balanced and honest view on whether they may pose a risk over a lifetime of use to our children’s and families health.

No SLS, No PEG’s, No Parabens & No Phthalates

There is nothing more lovely than bathing your children at the end of the day. Bath time is a lovely experience for both mum and baby.

It usually signals the end of the day and some well earned rest for mum when baby is bathed, relaxed, off to bed and finally asleep.

We all want the best for our children don’t we?

Follow Your Heart, But Remember to Take Your Brain With You!

We want our children to grow up healthy and happy; and part of that is making sure their home environment is safe.

Sometimes all these ingredients on bottles can be mystifying, and in our crazy wisdom we often hope for the best and somehow try to be an expert in everything.

To make your life easier here’s a break down the twelve questionable dirty dozen checklist ingredients that we feel are hurtful to adults, babies, animals and our home environment.

Let’s begin…

1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS(1) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate

This is a cheap petroleum based harsh detergent and foaming agent found in engine degreaser, concrete cleaner, shampoo, toothpaste and virtually all personal care products. It’s a known skin irritant and may cause irritation, cornea damage, damage hair follicles, and possibly increase acne.

There is no evidence of any link to cancer but product containing SLS may be contaminated with Ethylene Dioxide or 1,4 dioxane during manufacture which are both known carcinogens and banned in Europe as ingredients but not as contaminants.  SLS is considered safe for use.


2. Methylisothiazolinone

This is a preservative used in many cosmetic products, baby care products and wet wipes. The EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has classified it as a skin sensitiser and contact allergen. It has caused epidemic levels of allergic contact dermatitis right across Europe and has been banned in Denmark.


3. Talc (Talcum Powder)

Talc is a combination of magnesium silicone and oxygen. Talc can cause respiratory problems, especially in infants. For this reason, use of baby powders containing talc is discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There have been suspicions of links to ovarian cancer but the charity Ovacome says “Ovarian cancer is a rare disease, and increasing a small risk by a third still gives a small risk. So even if talc does increase the risk slightly, very few women who use talc will ever get ovarian cancer.” Very reassuring!?!


4. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives used in many cosmetic and personal care products. This ingredient is very controversial. It is classed as an endocrine disruptor and can mimic estrogen and although not proven, research has strongly suggested a possible link to breast cancer.

Given the choice between paraben free product and those containing parabens, when it comes to cancer we would say NO RISK is better than low risk.


5. Phthalates

Phthalates enhance perfume and make scent last longer in laundry products, air freshener in baby and personal care products. They are also used to soften plastics in the manufacture of toys. Some phthalates have been banned in Europe and Canada due to possible links to liver and kidney problems in young children.

Greenpeace states that sufficient evidence exists to give reasonable cause for concern regarding exposure through inhalation and skin contact.


6. “Parfum” Or “Fragrance”

Ever wonder what this is? Generally a cocktail of up to 200 various scent chemicals including phthalates. Ingredients don’t have to be disclosed as a scent can be classed as a trade secret.


7. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a petroleum based ingredient that stops product drying out. Very cheap and in almost all baby and personal care products. It can be contaminated with PAH’s which ARE associated with health risks such as liver function.


8. 1,4-Dioxane

Although not an ingredient, it can be found as a contaminant in product containing many of the ingredients listed above. It is a suspected carcinogenic, and may cause liver and kidney damage.

The EU guideline for concentrations of this contaminant in personal care is a target level of 10 parts per million. Target level??

OUR OPINION – AVOID SLS / PEG’s in personal care products.

9. Ethylene Dioxide

Again not an ingredient but a contaminant and a known carcinogenic. In 46 out of 100 products labelled “natural” or “organic” 1,4 dioxane was found as a contaminant.

OUR OPINION – AVOID SLS / PEG’s in personal care

10. Formaldehyde

Ok, up until now I have tried to be as impartial as possible, but this one really gets the blood boiling, Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but is used as a preservative in personal care, home care, disinfectants and nail polish and treatments.

It is classified by the IARC as a known human cancer causing agent, and is known to cause high rates of leukemia in workers who use it such as undertakers.   It can be listed under several names as an ingredient.

Baby products usually don’t contain formaldehyde, but they can contain formaldehyde releasers which slowly release it into the product to prevent bacteria build up, but at levels which are considered to be SAFE.

Formaldehyde Is A Very Dirty Dozen Checklist Known As A Human Cancer Causing Agent” – Safe Levels Are Questionable?

What we want to know is as with all these ingredients who is researching the effects of continual and repeated exposure over a lifetime of use?  Answer?  No one!


11. Petrolatum

This is mineral oil jelly (i.e. petroleum jelly). It is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers and also in hair care products to make your hair shine. A petroleum product, petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum as a potential carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics. PAHs in petrolatum can also cause skin irritation and allergies.


12. PEG’s

There are many forms of Polyethylene Glycol. It is more commonly known as an ingredient in antifreeze.  It is a toxin that may cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and eczema.  PEG’s may be contaminated during manufacture by Ethylene Dioxide, and 1-4 dioxane – known carcinogens and banned in Europe as ingredients.


Should You Buy Natural or Organic?

It would be nice if you could just look up a list of ingredients that fall under natural and organic categories, but unfortunately you can’t.  The terms natural and organic have no definition under the law that defines how cosmetics are regulated.

The EU has no definition for “natural or “organic cosmetics either. Since there isn’t a standard various groups have come out with their own guidelines for what they think these words should mean when applied to personal care products.

Some manufacturers argue that ingredients derived from petrochemicals are natural as they come out of the ground. Many products labelled natural or organic may still contain many of the ingredients listed above.

Very sad!

Dirty Dozen Checklist Conclusion

The use of any of the above ingredients are unnecessary. Their primary use is because they are cheap, regardless of there being safer alternatives available. Many will say they are in such small quantities that they are safe. However, no one can provide any research as to their long term effect on health from daily exposure over time, and also how each of these various chemicals interact with each other during use.

It’s good to be passionate about creating a safer home environment for your children and reducing the risk of needless exposure to controversial chemicals. There are definite health benefits from reducing the toxic load on our families. There are safer alternatives with NO RISK, and no risk is better than LOW RISK.

Our source of research: Dr Samuel Epstein MD professor emeritus of Environmental Medicine University of Illinois. IARC – International Agency for Research on Cancer,  European Commission: Scientific Commission for Consumer Safety

Article Disclaimer: The information about ingredients is based upon opinion observation. No representation is made herein as to its accuracy or the method by which it was derived. It should be in no way construed to discredit a particular company or product but should be used as reference to enable anyone to make an informed decision as to products or ingredients they choose to use or not to use. This information may or may not be relevant for any particular product and is only intended to provide information which might be valuable when used as such.