Let’s take a look at what we leave out, yet many leading brands leave in.
Added to soaps to make them softer and easier to machine mould.
Traditionally used to preserve corpses, formaldehyde is used to prolong the life of many conventional products!
Unless specifically stated that it is from a vegetable source, glycerin or glycerine will be obtained from the rendered carcasses of dead animals.
Made from water, caustic soda and the rendered fat from dead animals.
Make finished products more visually appealing.
Cheap substitutes for natural oils and essences.
A colouring agent that enhances the opacity of products to make them look uniformly clearer. Causes pollution in water courses.
Commonly used in everyday household items from cleaning products to paint for its preservative and biocidal qualities, bit has been shown to lead to skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.
Commonly used to stabilise synthetic fragrances.
Used as water softeners and to improve cleaning, they can stimulate excessive growth of algae in the receiving waters. These algae often grow in such great numbers that the water becomes starved of oxygen, killing fish and plant life. This condition is known as eutrophication and exists in lake erie, north america. Lake erie is practically devoid of all marine life.
This is sometimes used as a substitute for, but also in addition to, phosphates. It is a sequestering agent that attracts heavy metals such as lead and mercury, both of which have known carcinogenic properties. These heavy metals can eventually find their way back into water supplies and are extremely difficult to remove completely.
Enzymes are present in all living organisms. They can and do cause severe skin irritations and asthma attacks. In the manufacturing process, enzymes can be genetically engineered and have been known to cause pulmonary hemorrhaging.
Used in laundry products to give an illusion of “whiteness”, they attach themselves to fabric to reflect “white light”. Clothes only appear cleaner. Optical brighteners are extremely difficult to biodegrade and can cause severe skin irritation. They can also cause mutations to microorganisms in receiving waters.
Yes, in some products you will find animal urea (derived from urine). It breaks down chemical bonds in proteins and is cheap and plentiful in supply.
The wax secreted in wool-bearing animals. Lanolin for cleaning products is often sourced from the cheapest grade sheep stock, often in less health than food grade or medical grade stock. Products containing lanolin are not suitable for vegans or those who have animal welfare high on their agenda.
The preservatives mi and mci are used in a wide range of shampoos, moisturisers and shower gels as well as make-up and baby wipes. But dermatologists warn people are being exposed to much higher doses than before, leading to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis where the skin becomes red and itchy and can sting and blister.
An animal triglyceride derived from beef fat. Tallow required for cleaning products is usually sourced from intensively farmed animals as it is the cheapest source. Products containing tallow are not suitable for vegans or those who have animal welfare high on their agenda.
Is a high production volume ingredient used as an antibacterial, often found in antibacterial liquid hand soaps. Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide and is known to be hazardous to humans including liver and inhalation toxicity, interferes with muscle function and may also alter hormone regulation.
Genetically or synthetically modified organisms are now being added to cleaning products, which replaces the requirement for the use of palm oil. There have been no independent safety tests to prove that these methods are safe on humans.
These are contained in conventional toilet cleaners, sanitisers, nappy powders, washing powders and dishwasher detergents. During the breakdown of these types of bleach, carcinogenic toxic substances are formed which are similar to the banned pesticide d.d.t.
Most conventional household cleaners contain petroleum-derived additives and detergents. They often break down incompletely and contain toxic impurities that are highly irritant, cause allergic reactions and can endanger plant and animal life.