Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
A foaming agent commonly found in commercial grade car wash soaps and garage floor cleaners, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) can be found in many of the cleansing skin care products you use daily. SLS is a cheap solution to the manufacturers’ problem of how to get their products to lather or foam up. Some of the products that commonly contain SLS are:
• Industrial cleaning detergent
• Laundry detergent
• Stain remover
• Fabric glue
• Shaving cream
• Dish soap
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is reported to be well known as a standard skin irritant. The scariest part is that irritation has been shown to occur at concentrations of 0.5%. Many of these everyday products contain up to 30% concentrations of SLS, which according to a 1983 report by the American College of Toxicology (ACT), “caused skin corrosion and severe irritation.”
Knowing all of this, it is easy to understand how SLS can be linked to scalp irritation, skin irritation, irritation of the eyes, and swelling of the hands and arms. Also, SLS is known to dry out hair follicles, causing damage.
Coal tar is a by-
Its main function in cosmetic products is as an anti dandruff agent and a dye. Coal tar is a known human carcinogen. In Canada and several other countries coal tar is banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics. There is also strong evidence that coal tar is a human skin toxicant or allergen as well as a respiratory toxicant.
More alarmingly, coal tar is suspected to be an environmental toxin. Many cities, states and businesses have put a ban on Coal tar as a driveway and pavement sealant because of the higher cancer risks and contamination to soil. A 2013 article in USA Today describes various actions by state and local governments across the United States to curtail the use of coal tar sealants:
• Minnesota and the state of Washington banned pavement sealants that contain coal tar.
• Chicago, the city's Committee on Finance discussed a ban on the sale or use of these sealants.
• Cities and counties in Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, New York, Maryland and Washington State have banned its use.
• Other cities and counties in six additional states have restricted its use.
• Major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace and United Hardware have stopped selling coal tar sealants.
Much of the concern by state and local governments regarding the use of coal tar sealants has to do with the fact that the product gradually wears off and breaks down into particles that are washed off by rain into streams. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studied 40 lakes in urban areas and found that coal tar accounted for about half of hazardous chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH’s. They say the sealants elevate lifetime cancer risks.
Additionally, results from a new study by researchers from Baylor University and the USGS indicate that living adjacent to a coal-
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