Found in: Who knows what? An analysis by the Environmental Working Group suggests that 1,4-dioxane may be found in 22% of the more than 25,000 products in the Skin Deep database of cosmetics products BUT you likely won’t see it on an ingredient list. 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant not an ingredient and the FDA does not require that contaminants be listed among intentionally added ingredients even though the FDA themselves classify 1,4-dioxane as a probable carcinogen. So, what to avoid?
The EWG suggests you…
“Look for products free of carcinogenic impurities. To avoid 1,4-dioxane, read ingredient labels and avoid any of the 56 cosmetic ingredients that can contain the contaminant, including “sodium laureth sulfate” and ingredients that include the clauses “PEG,” “xynol,” “ceteareth,” and “oleth.”
Health concerns: The MSDS sheet for 1,4-Dioxane notes that it’s a carcinogen and that overexposure can cause eye, skin and mucous membrane irritation, central nervous system depression, nephrotoxin, and hepatotoxin.
Acute exposure can cause irritation, headache, dizziness, and narcosis. Chronic inhalation exposure can produce damage to the liver and kidneys, and blood disorders. Research also shows that 1,4-dioxane readily penetrates the skin.