1,4-dioxane is a hidden carcinogen lurking in everyday products. It can be found in up to 46% of personal care products, including baby products, shampoo, body wash, and lotions. It is also found in many laundry detergents. 1,4-dioxane is not intentionally added to products and it does not enhance the effectiveness of a product, but rather it occurs as an unwanted byproduct. It results from a process called ethoxylation, which is used to reduce the risk of skin irritation caused by harsh petroleum-based ingredients. Manufacturers can remove dioxane from products simply and cheaply. The FDA recommends that manufactures remove the chemical; unfortunately many companies opt not to take that extra step.
Exposure to 1,4-dioxane occurs through inhalation, or breathing vapors, swallowing liquid or water contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, and through skin absorption. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that 1,4-dioxane is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) considers 1,4-dioxane as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The EPA has established that 1,4-dioxane is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” Exposure to this chemical is linked to tumors of the liver,
gallbladder, nasal cavity, lung, skin, and breast.
Products With The Highest Levels Of 1,4-Dioxane:
- Victoria’s Secret Bombshell – 17,000 ppb
- Victoria’s Secret Love – 16,000 ppb
- Tide Original – 14,000 ppb
- 2x Ultra Ivory Snow Gentle Care – 11,000 ppb
- Tide Simply plus Oxi (Refreshing Breeze) – 8,500 ppb
- Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Shampoo – 5,500 ppb
- ALL with Stain Lifters – 5,200 ppb
- Herbal Essences Deep Moisture Shampoo – 4,200 ppb
- Olay moisture ribbons 3500 ppb
- Arm and Hammer Clean Burst, 2x Concentrated – 2,800 ppb
(Source: Citizens Campaign for the Environment – CCE)
For more information regarding CCE’s campaign regarding 1,4-dioxane contamination on Long Island, please visit: