Lurking Toxins: Hand Soap

Let’s talk about another everyday toxin that probably lurks in your home… hand soap. I was inspired after washing my hands and being unable to get the flowery stink off of them for hours. How disgusting! If my hands have that much smell on them from washing, how can they possibly be clean?

I find this disturbing. I rewashed my hands with vinegar and water, baking soda and water and finally with coconut oil… rubbing it into my hands and wiping it off, three times until it was tolerable. That’s just wrong, I wash my hands to get everything of them, not to stick smells on them.

After that experience I decided to find out what is in hand soap that we should look out for…

Triclosan:

  • the active ingredient in most antibacterial soaps; overuse promotes the development of “Superbugs” like MRSA and VRSA (the flesh eating bacteria).
  • aggravates the growth of liver and kidney tumors.
  • in pregnant women, it affects hormone regulation and interferes with fetal development.
  • triclosan and similar compounds are linked to allergies, inflammatory responses, endocrine and thyroid disruption.
  • when combined with chlorine in tap water it creates chloroform gas.
  • triclosan is detectable in breast milk.
  • Synthetic Fragrance

  • usually contain phthalates that are endocrine disrupters and alters genital development.
  • makes Dawn, your favorite blogger very, very sick!
  • Parabens

  • are hormone disruptors and cause diminished muscle mass and excessive fat storage.
  • topical parabens have been detected in breast tumors and encourage tumor growth.
  • there are many types- look out for methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben.
  • Propylene Glycol

  • also called Propylene Oxide and Polyethylene Glycol.
  • main ingredient in antifreeze.
  • known carcinogen.
  • weakens skin cells.
  • linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, allergies and organ system toxicity.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

  • main ingredient in engine degreasers and industrial soaps.
  • causes hair loss. (Check your shampoo!)
  • linked to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and cancer.
  • 1,4-Dioxane

  • known carcinogen and by-product of the ethoxylation process.
  • watch out for synthetic ethoxylated ingredients, including those with myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth, any other “eth,” PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol, in their names.
  • Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC)

  • a type of germicide known as “quats”, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds.
  • linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies and organ system toxicity.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)

  • linked developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity and cancer.
  • used as a wetting agent.
  • Urea

  • releases formaldehyde.
  • causes joint pain, heart irregularities, and a weakened immune system.
  • primary cause of contact dermatitis.
  • also known as DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate and Diazolidinyl Urea.
  • Synthetic colors

  • contain heavy metal salts that cause skin sensitivity.
  • made from coal tar.
  • nearly all are carcinogenic.
  • labeled as FD&C, followed by a color and number.
  • Ethyl Alcohol

  • commonly used hand sanitizers, also known as Ethanol.
  • linked to cancer, birth defects, developmental and reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity.
  • Want to read some really scientific information about handwashing? Check out this article from Dr. Mercola.