ECO Alphabet: Week 8: Hygiene

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Do you know what you're cleaning yourself with?

Is my soap actually clean?

What are all of those difficult to pronounce ingredients on the back of my shampoo, toothpaste, or other cleansers?


In this post I will be answering some of those questions for you!

hygiene, green hygiene, zero waste, ocean conservation, what is in my shampoo?, sunblock, sunscreen, feminine hygiene, toothpaste, how to, make your own, diy

What exactly does "Toxic" mean?

A chemical that is degraded quickly in the environment that will only cause damage for a short period of time will vanish from the site and therefore not likely to reach toxic levels.

A small emission = limited consequences.

However, if a large amount of that chemical is released in a short period of time, the result is disastrous.


It is important to choose products that will readily biodegrade not those that will remain in the environment for a long time.

Shampoo


INGREDIENTS REVEALED:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Used in clinical testing as a primary skin irritant. This material may cause mutagenic effects

hygiene, green hygiene, zero waste, ocean conservation, what is in my shampoo?, sunblock, sunscreen, feminine hygiene, toothpaste, how to, make your own, diy
  • Cocamidopropyl bentaine: Potential irritant and potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer.

  • Ammonium chloride: Harmful if swallowed. May be harmful if inhaled. Skin, eye, and respiratory irritant.

  • Tocopheryl acetate: Vitamin E

  • Fennel: Okay depending in extraction process.

  • Fruit extract: Okay depending in extraction process.

  • Epilobium angustifolium extract: Okay depending in extraction process.

  • Panthenol: Vitamin B5

  • Quanternium 22: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products.

  • Propylene gylcol: allows other chemicals to penetrate skin

  • Tetrasodium EDTA: allows other chemicals to penetrate skin

  • Hexylene glycol: neurotoxin, sensitizer, and irritant

  • Triethanolomine: carcinogen

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone: immune system toxin and lung sensitizer

  • Limonene: Potential risks to wildlife and environment via water contamination.

The level of hazard depends on quantity and manufacturing.


If you see an ingredient that isn't listed here, just google it, and there are several databases with information about those chemicals.

Toothpaste