When you think of Tide’s Free and Gentle® laundry detergent, don’t you immediately think it is safe for babies and young children? That’s exactly what Proctor & Gamble wants you to think. But they forgot to tell us that 1,4-dioxane, a probable cancer causing chemical is in the product. Green Gal Next Door, Lori Alper, editor of Groovy Green Livin’ was so angry, she started a petition to demand that P&G remove this chemical from the detergent.
And guess what? With the support of Momrising, Women’s Voices for the Earth, and Healthy Child Healthy World, it pissed off 72,000 other people too. Listen to her in the above video or podcast as she explains the problem.
Why You Should Be Pissed Off:
Women’s Voices for the Earth commissioned a third party study of 20 popular cleaning products. The study identified Tide’s Free and Gentle® as containing 1,4-dioxane.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics explains that 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant produced during the manufacturing of products that typically contain suds. This would include such products as shampoos, laundry detergents, and bubble bath. The organization states:
“1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. This process creates 1,4-dioxane. For example, sodium laurel sulfate, a chemical that is harsh on the skin, is often converted to the less-harsh chemical sodium laureth sulfate (the “eth” denotes ethoxylation), which can contaminate this ingredient with 1,4-dioxane”
The FDA does not require the inclusion of this chemical in ingredients since it is a contaminant made during manufacturing.
Interestingly, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics notes 1,4-dioxane can be removed from products with added ethylene oxide by vacuum stripping. Alternatively, companies’ can skip ethoxylation all together and choose less harsh ingredients. Note, organic product standards do not allow ethoxylation.
The Campaign noted that 1,4-dioxane is a probable human carcinogen. The organization states:
“Research shows that 1,4-dioxane readily penetrates the skin (vii). 1,4-dioxane is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (viii) and listed as an animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program (ix). It is included on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects (x). The California Environmental Protection Agency also lists 1,4-dioxane as a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant”
Lori explains in the video, P&G removed 1,4-dioxane from their Herbal Essence Shampoos. So, what can’t P&G remove it from their laundry detergent?
As of the date of this article, Lori has not heard form P&G. Personally, I think P&G should have come to the table way before 72,000+ people signed the petition. In my opinion, this petition is a public relations nightmare. Where are you P&G? I have Lori’s email if you need it.
What Can You Do?
Be the next person to sign the petition. Sign here.
Join the Conversation:
- Did you know that Tide Free and Gentle contained 1,4-dioxane?
- Will you stop buying Tide Free and Gentle until P&G removes this ingredient?
- Did you sign the petition to voice your outrage?
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