Are you and your family exposed to toxic surfactants?

December 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

Toxic surfactants

Toxic surfactants are chemicals in cleaning products that help mix water with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. However, if the chemicals find their way into the groundwater they cause serious damage to the ecosystem. This often happens when we wash our vehicles and other items that send water straight into the storm drains.

Check the labels for these Toxic surfactants, and avoid them!

Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride Vapors are irritating to the eyes. Corrosive to the skin. Skin sensitizer. Limited biodegradability. Toxic to aquatic life.

C 12-15 pareth ethylbenzene sulfonate Limited biodegradability. Toxic to aquatic life

Dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride Irritating to eyes, skin, and lungs. May be fatal if ingested.

Lauramidoproplyamine oxide Toxic to aquatic life.

Linear Surfactant Irritating to skin and eyes. Biodegradable Toxic to aquatic life.

Sodium Silicate Irritating to eyes or skin Harmful if swallowed or inhaled Harmful to aquatic life. Commonly used in automatic dishwasher detergents.

Although this article lists the dangers of ‘toxic’ surfactants, it should be noted that not all surfactants are harmful. Soaps are also surfactants. But any surfactant that is not a soap is a detergent. Both soaps and detergents perform the same task as far as removing dirt. The difference between them is their composition. Soaps, on the whole, are made of materials found in nature, and detergents are made from synthetic materials such as a petrochemical base –  these are the type that are harmful to your health and the environment. Since both soaps and detergents are surfactant based, you can make the effort to choose a product whose surfactants are made from oleo-chemicals, instead of those made from petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are a nonrenewable resource and actually a ‘waste product’ of the petroleum industry derived from crude oil or natural gas. Oleo-chemicals are from fats and oils, which are renewable resources.

For your laundry, regardless whether or not you have our surfactant-free laundry ball, next time you’re shopping for cleaning products, consider this list of toxic surfactants to keep you, your family, your pets and the environment safe.

Learn more about the dangers of detergents.

Entry filed under: Health Hazards, Home and Health. Tags: , , , , , , .

Non-toxic Tips by – Great article! Personal care products: Why should you be concerned?

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