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    The Body


Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton

The Chemical Maze

By Bill Statham

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Surface-active-agents are substances capable of dissolving oils and holding dirt in suspension so it can be rinsed away with water.

They are used in skin cleansers and shampoos which are often claimed to contain "natural" ingredients

A serious problem with ethoxylated surfactants (those that utilise ethylene or propylene oxide in the chemical reaction) is that they are often contaminated with dioxane, a potent carcinogen., and the exact same toxic carcinogen sprayed on the Vietnam jungle during Agent Orange , which caused hundreds of thousands of birth defects and cancers in Vietnamese civilians and huge increases in the cancer rates for US and Australian army personnel.

Far from NATURAL!

These surfactants are listed on labels as ingredients ending with -eth, (like laureth) or containing the phrase PEG (Poly Ethylene Glycol), or PPG (Poly Propylene Glycol). Another dangerous class of surfactants are amides.

These are listed on labels containing the term TEA - TriEthanolAmine, DEA - DiEthanolAmine and MEA MonoEthanolAmine.

All compounds containing TEA, DEA, and MEA can undergo nitrosation with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. One study found that over 40% of products containing triethanolamine (TEA) were contaminated with these potent carcinogens. Would you call this "Skin Care"?

Natural saponins (foaming agents) are a much better choice for shampoos. They gently cleanse the hair skin and scalp without stripping the natural oils.

Some Synthetic Surfactants

1. Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl or Laureth Sulphate
2. Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
3. Sodium Lauroyl or Cocoyl Sarcosinate
4. Cocomidopropyl Betaine
5. TEA compounds
6. DEA compounds
7. PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) compounds
8. Quarternium -7,15,31,60 etc
9. Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine
10. Disodium Oleamide or Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate
11. etc. etc. etc.

Some Natural Surfactants

1. Castile Soap
2. Yucca Extract
3. Soapwort
4. Quillaja Bark Extract