Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dial down on the 1,4 dioxane

Would you be surprised to find out that a "contaminant" known to be a carcinogen since at least 1988 could be lurking in popular personal care -- and BABY CARE -- products at relatively high levels? And it does not have to be listed because, technically, it's a by-product of a manufacturing process and not an ingredient.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) reported that "EPA May 7 released a draft Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of 1,4 dioxane that includes a new cancer slope factor that is 17 times more potent than the agency's 1990 IRIS assessment."

OCA did their own 1,4 dioxane testing on personal care products, both "natural" and big brands, and detected 1,4 dioxane at 18 ppm in Dial Clean & Soft Aloe Antibacterial Hand Soap. So-called natural products were not exempt, with biggest offender -- Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap -- registering a whopping 204 parts per million! Testing was conducted in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and some products, like Method's Dish Naturally Derived Ultra Concentrate, have been reformulated to dramatically reduce levels (though it still contains 2.9 ppm).

"The chemical also shows up in nearly half of the personal care products that EWG includes in its 'Skin Deep' database, which compares more than 42,000 personal care products with some 50 toxicity and regulatory databases, the EWG source says."

So what's a safe level? That's up to the EPA to determine, but it's up to us to then calculate all our exposure sources and add them together. That's the part the EPA can't seem to factor. With this toxin showing up in so many products, you have to imagine that your aggregate exposure is 20-50x that of any single source it's in.

Speechless. The more I learn, the more I want answers! Get angry, people, and demand answers.

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