32 List of Harmful Chemicals In Toiletries – Effects and Cautions

It is shocking knowing the fact that we have been exposed by the harmful chemical in everyday of our life. Not only shocking it is also concerning how we are already got into deep influence of those harmful chemical. We get those exposure of harmful chemicals in almost aspect of our life including in our toiletries product.

Soap, shampoo, moisturizer and so the list goes on are goods or products that we use everyday. How shocking it is when we realize that these products bring harm to our body. These chemicals bring harm from the smallest effect such as allergies to the chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity.

The government of United States America developing a list as guidance for users or consumers to be alert of some chemicals that bring harm to our body. This list is developed by two agencies that is the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP). This chemicals included trough some tests including Lab studies and studies in people. The list is divided into five groups that classified for it contingency or possibility to cause cancer.

To have better understanding of those chemical this article will shows you the list of harmful chemicals in toiletries :

1. Nonylphenols

Our daily washing agent or so called detergent could be containing some harmful chemical. Nonyphenols which commonly used in detergent has harmful effect to our body at certain level. This chemical known as Xenoestrogens is chemical compound that imitates estrogen.

Xenoestrogens bind estrogen receptors  and acting competitively against natural estrogens resulting a disruptive in estrogen hormones. Not stopping there this chemical also associated with breast cancer due to its activity on ERα (estrogen receptor α) in estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent breast cancer cells. The only way to treat this chemical is by avoiding them, as in Europe Union this chemical has been banned due to its harm.

2. Phospate

The other harmful chemical that is found in detergent is phospate. This chemical with symbol of PO3-4 is also known as salt-forming anion of phosphoric acid. Although it is needed by humans body and important to it, excessive consumption of phospate could cause health problems such as kidney damage and osteoporosis. Other mild effect of using too much phospate on skin could cause irritation.

To avoid this bad effect, we should followed the suggested maximum intake of phospate of 800mg per day. But when it is used for skin contact only it will bring no harm when it is used in certain amount like the use in detergent.

3. Aluminium chlorohydrate

This chemical has formula of AlnCl(3n-m)(OH)m is found and used as substance cosmetics as an antiperspirant and as a coagulant in water purification. In certain amount of usage this chemical could be harmful.

The Food and Drug Administration of United States America said it is safe to use this chemical under 25% concentrate. A long term and excessive use of this kind of chemical could cause Alzheimer disease and breast cancer. To avoid this risk it is suggested to keep using this chemical on the suggested level of 25% concentrate.

4. 1,4 Dioxane

The symbol of this chemical is C4H8O2 is an organic compound that can be found in detergent. The compound is listed as one of carcinogen which mean potentially causing cancer. This compound also could irritating eyes and respiratory tract.

Another things to be notice when using this chemical is this chemical is highly flammable and could cause explosion. Because of its harmful character U.S. Senators in 2017 make a petition to ban this chemical usage. The best solution for us as consumer is stay away from this kind of chemical. 

5. Paraben

This chemical is actually type of substance that form many cosmetic and toiletries product. This chemical is use as preservative agent in those product. In case excessive and long term usage this compound could cause allergic reaction, breast cancer to disruptive estrogenic activity.

To avoid those unwanted side effect the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) suggest a maximum authorized concentration for only 0,4% for one ester or 0.8% when used in combination in 2013. So, it is suggested to only use product who contain paraben under this concentration. You may also read about Propylparaben in Pharmaceutical Uses 

6. Formalin

Although more and more toiletries product no longer using this compound but some product still using it even in very small concentration. According to American Cancer Society, formalin could cause blood cancer directly and very irritating when it is used in excessive amount. So, do not use any toiletries product that has formalin in it. You may also read about Chemicals in Chemical Toilets 

7. Quaternary ammonium

This chemical is commonly known as quats with chemical symbol of NR+4 with R being an alkyl group or an aryl group. This compound is found in some softener. This compound could cause wide range of effect from mild skin and respiratory irritation to severe headache, nausea, vomiting, convulsion and even death.

8. Polyethylene Glycol

Commonly many toiletries like skin creams, personal lubricant, toothpastes and shampoo contain this chemical. This chemical who has symbol of H−(O−CH2−CH2)n−OH , is lately investigated by Food and Drugs Administration possibly has laxative effect on children.

Another things is some people could be allergic to it. Even though it is not harmful for adults, you should be concern of using this chemical contained product on children as it is said that this chemical could disrupt human development.

9. Triclosan

The main function of this chemical in many toiletries product is to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. With chemical formula of C12H7Cl3O2 this chemical is bringing a lot of risk with it. This chemical even included in contaminant of emerging concern (CEC), meaning it is under investigation for public health risk. This chemical could trigger allergy, cardiovascular decease, and health of hormones.

The FDA is still on reviewing regulation regarding the maximum use of this compound. The solution for us is not to use this chemical too much and if it is possible avoid it.

10. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This chemical with formula of C12H25NaO4S is used as foaming agent. Many liquid soap such as shampoo and bath bomb using this chemical because it is inexpensive and very effective as foaming agent however SLS is one of harmful chemical as for some reason because of excessive used it can damage irritate eyes, skin and even respiratory system. That is why it is suggested not to use this kind of chemical excessively in a liquid soap making.

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More Harmful Substances in Toiletries

Below are the other list of harmful chemicals in toiletries product:

  • Coal Tar
  • Ethoxylated surfactants
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fragrance/Parfum
  • Hydroquinone
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Mineral oil
  • Oxybenzone
  • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD
  • Placental extract
  • Silicone-derived emollients
  • Talc
  • Toluene
  • Xylene
  • Paraphenylenediamine
  • benzophenone
  • PABA
  • Avobenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Ethoxycinnmate

That is some list of harmful chemicals in toiletries, basically those chemical only could be harmful if they are used beyond its usage recommendation. You may be careful and aware when you use some products with harmful chemicals substances.