1,4 Dioxane and Ethoxylation
1,4 Dioxane is getting much publicity lately as this known carcinogen was even found in some natural personal care companies products.
What is 1,4 Dioxane? 1,4 Dioxane or just Dioxane in the industrial manufacturing world is used in solvents and as a fumigant in the automotive coolant. The fact that this chemical appears in personal care is of particular concern because it is believed to be a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant.
Of equal concern is that 1,4-Dioxane is not biodegradable, does not readily bind to soils and is the number one leading groundwater contaminant. It is a byproduct of the cancer-causing petrochemical Ethylene Oxide. As mentioned Dioxane is a byproduct of the Ethoxylation process in cosmetic manufacturing, an example is the ethoxylation of sodium dodecyl sulphate to form sodium laureth sulphate, a foaming agent used in toothpaste, shampoos, and detergent.
How can we avoid this chemical? The Organic Consumers Association is the US recommends reading ingredient labels and avoiding products with indications of ethoxylation, which include: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," any other "eth," "PEG," "polyethylene," "polyethylene glycol," "polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol," in ingredient names.