Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The truth about SLS

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), it is a foaming agent used in cleaning products, shampoos, cleansers and even toothpaste. Manufacturers use it because it is cheap but suds well making you think you are getting a better product.

It is also used as an engine degreaser. Imagine what it does to the natural oils in your skin and hair!

It causes skin and eye irritation and can lead to eczema and acne.

It accumulates in the body's organs such as liver, heart and brain.

It can lead to cateracts in the eyes and poor eye development in babies and children.

Because it does microscopic damage to the lining of your mouth when used in toothpastes, it allows bacteria in leading to mouth ulcers. A study of toothpastes made without SLS lead to a 60% reduction in mouth ulcers.

Long term exposure to SLS in shampoos caused damage to the hair follices leading to hair loss. It also causes dandruff, which often leads to more frequent shampooing, increasing the problem.

On a scale of 0-8 of surfactants with 8 being the highest, SLS rates 5.2 - extremely irritating.

The Manufacturers Material Data Safety Sheet on SLS is horrific.

Often SLS is altered to make it less abrasive and foam more creating Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLES. 1,4-dioxane may be created during this process, contaminating the product. 1,4-dioxane was one of the principal components of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What's really in your toothpaste?

I've noticed that there is a trend towards 'herbal' toothpastes on the supermarket shelf lately. As with most personal care products, this is just a ploy to make you think you are buying a product that is better for you. A quick look at the label will tell you that the active ingredient is the same as with the regular toothpastes on the supermarket shelf.
So what is actually in the toothpastes?
There are no regulations in Australia that state a manufacture has to list all the ingedients in toothpastes. All they need to list are the active ingredients. Only a small portion of the total.
The most common active ingredient used in Australia is sodium monoflurophosphate (a form of fluoride). There are actually no conclusive studes to show that the addition of fluoride reduces tooth decay.
The following information is taken from the book "Dangerous Beauty"
The largest US study of 39,000 school children found that the decay of permanent teeth was virtually the same in both fluoridated areas and non-fluoridated areas.
In the United States, the FDA now requires a warning on all fluoridated toothpastes as follows: "If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control centre immediately".
Other common ingredients in toothpaste are saccharin, sodium lauryl sulphate, glycerin, triclosan, propylene gycold, glyceryl nitrate, fragrance and colour. None of these have any funtion in dental hygiene. Some of these ingredients have been found to be more toxic when ingested via the mouth than when taken intravenously.
Makes you think twice next time you brush your teeth doesn't it!

Miessence toothpastes stocked by Green Chickadee do not contain fluoride, aluminium, artificial sweeteners or detergents. Nothing but natural ingredients. Available in Mint, Anise or Lemon.