Friday, September 10, 2010

Few months back I got a forwarded mail from a relation. It was about the supposedly harmful compound SLS or sodium laureth sulphate found in most shampoos. This chemical is the frothing agent commonly used in toxic industrial floor cleaners. I don’t know about the authenticity of the report. A cursory check in my bathroom revealed that my shampoo indeed contained this compound. I was a little skeptic and anxious. Few months down the line I found that the compound was also used in this new bathing gel I had purchased by DOVE. And Dove is a brand that stands for mild soaps supposedly good for skin etc. So... I had a new line of thought. Agreed it is a frothing agent used in harmful floor cleaner but that doesn’t imply that the chemical per se is harmful too. Why would it be used extensively in the cosmetic industry other wise. I gave it the benefit of doubt.
Recently in some context, I read that the compound SLS is supposed to be carcinogenic. This time I checked all the products in the bathroom that has a frothing action. And guess what I found? Every single one of them showed SLS in its list of ingredients. That included shampoos from ‘Head and Shoulder’ , ‘Clinic Plus’ and Dove. I was disturbed to find that it also featured in baby products from Johnsons’ like the bubble bath, top-to-toe liquid soap and Johnson’s Mild shampoo. Next I checked our toothpastes. We had three brands of toothpaste in the bathroom. Pepsodent, Colgate and Close up. And guess what... SLS made it to the list every single time. So obviously SLS is the favorite frothing agent used in the cosmetic industry. If it is deemed so harmful why is it being used in these products without warning? And do we have options when it comes to daily use products that don’t contain SLS? Lately I had switched over to herbal shampoos for my hair. So I checked these out. ‘Dheedhi’ shampoo mentions “suitable pearlising agents and base” in its ingredients list. Inconclusive.
It’s high time we consumers are given correct and extensive information about potentially harmful products particularly SLS. When will India wake up to it? Is India becoming a dumping ground for substandard cosmetics? Where does an ordinary consumer like me go for more clarity on this subject?
Spread the word. May be it will cause the authorities to wake up and call for some research into the matter. Right now as I see it, if I avoid SLS it would mean not using any of the products in the market.

do chk out this link :
http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.html

4 comments:

anilkurup said...

That was a very disturbing report.
Also check these same brands that are manufactured outside say in the EU or the USA.
These multinationals may have the policy of dumping things here with all the banned substances while they comply with the laws in the EU and the USA.
Well what if the products can be harmful or have carcinogenic ingredients in them, when we compare the vanity, the personal elation etc that happens in us when we use them and those that are smilingly endorsed by a Kareena Kappor, a Bipasha or a SRK.
Let consumerism flourish.

kaalpanique said...

you know, i read that article you wrote on the beauty pageants. i didnt comment coz everyone pretty much echoed my sentiments. it is believed that the beauty pageants periodically favor some countries to promote beauty products. its sad... we are looking at short term benefits. if any...

Balachandran V said...

Oi, that was disturbing indeed! Tell you what? Check up on the report of SLS and find out anything has been done about it. i remember reading a magazine who had started a campaign against Johnsons. If you have the time, send a letter to Down to Earth magazine.

kaalpanique said...

apparently most of these terrorising forwarded mails are hoax.
do read this link:
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/shampoo.asp.
but i think we should confirm this report