Fluoridation is not necessary. There is no identifiable disease, not even tooth degradation that can be attributed to fluoride deficiency. In fact, studies conducted by the National Research Council in 2006, link fluoride with interference with brain functioning. In US, the FDA requires a warning label on all tubes of mouthwash that have fluoride as it is potentially harmful if ingested or used at high doses. There is enough fluoride in a typical tube of toothpaste to kill two small children if they consumed the entire tube at once. This really isn't rocket science. If it kills you in large doses, doesn't it stand to reason that in smaller doses it is not a wise choice?


Was developed as a rat poison and is now added in many products as a bactericidal agent. It can cause heart diseases and heart failure as well as muscle function. Triclosan suppresses hormone production yet is present in many toothpaste brands and hand soaps.

Used in surgical scrubs and hand washes,  and some mouthwashes studies have shown links between Triclosan and disrupted hormonal development, a reduction in bacterial resistance and an increase in allergies. In 2010 the EU banned Triclosan from all products that come into contact with food.


They are forms of detergent that give ‘bubble’ to our cleaning products. Most common mouthwashes contain foaming agents which are sulfates based to deliver the foams while you clean your teeth. Manufacturers use sulfates because they are very cheap.A buildup of this chemical can cause damage to the heart, brain and lungs. It also corrodes and impairs the ability to grow hair because it destroys hair follicles causing hair to fall out. It is also linked to the development of some forms of cancer and can irritate the skin.


Acts as preservatives to most beauty and personal products. It is heavily advertised as an antibacterial and antifungal. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ran a study and found that parabens has the ability to disrupt endocrine action. Other studies also link this chemical to breast cancer and reproductive abnormalities in males.


PEGs (polyethylene glycol) is widely used as a thickener and softener for many skin products. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified this petroleum-based compound as a potential human carcinogen. What’s more, PEG doesn’t easily degrade even long after you have showered it down the drain which poses as an environmental hazard.


This is similar to PEGs and used as a penetration enhancer which actually allows faster absorption of other harmful chemicals. It breaks down the body’s cellular structure but is a favorite ingredient for hair products, lotions, mouthwashes and toothpastes. It can have systemic consequences that produces abnormalities in the brain, liver and kidneys.


Diethanolamine (DEA) is a chemical used as an additive for creams and other cosmetics to keep it in favorable consistency. It reacts with other chemicals and forms a potent carcinogen.

Monoethanolamine (MEA), could  disrupts the body’s natural hormone production and have been linked to the formation of liver and kidney cancers. This is usually added to body washes, bubble baths and soaps.

Triethanolamine (TEA), is added to products as a foaming agent and as fragrance. It also balances the pH level and ensures that creams blend well and spread smoothly on skin and hair. Over time, TEA causes irritation and inflammation to the eyes, skin and hair.


Alcohol is a solvent and a denaturant, meaning, it is a poisonous substance that can change the composition of another substance. It is also used in antifreeze and as a shellac solvent. It is widely used in body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions to name but a few. Its ingestion can result in mental depression, nausea, vomiting and even coma. There is a very good source of reference to all these written by eco-campaigner and expert on this subject by none other than David Suzuki. Check out is Dirty Dozen list on his foundation website.


Also called petrolatum these are a by-product of petroleum. Acting as a moisturizing agent, it seals off your skin by forming a barrier preventing the skin’s ability to absorb and breathe moisture and nutrition. Studies have shown that it actually slows down normal cell development resulting in premature aging of the skin. Petrolatum is often contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which the EU classifies as a carcinogen. Mineral oil is a common ingredient in many personal care products yet it is found in some baby products!


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid is added to food and cosmetics to slow down oxidation thereby preserving the product for longer. Its “benefits” end there because it can result in a weaker immune system, digestive problems, anemia and nerve function.


Polyquaternium is water soluble in its granulated form and acts as anti-static in hair products because of its moisturising properties. It also acts as an endocrine disruptor which can directly affect fertility capabilities. Polyquaternium makes the skin susceptible to allergic contact as dermatitis.


Studies conducted on animals show that these additives are carcinogenic. They can cause depletion of the body’s ability to absorb oxygen.


Gluten is the collective name for the proteins found in wheat endosperm. It is the substance that gives flour its elasticity when mixed with water. Oral ingestion or even skin absorption activates an immunological response which leads to exacerbation of those with celiac disease.


Steroids are organic compounds that can help control inflammation in the body. Anabolic steroids are often used to artificially stimulate muscle growth. Absorption of steroids through the skin can lead to eye damage, perioral dermatitis and steroid atrophy. Note that topical steroids’ market name is corticosteroid which is present in facial soaps, gels, creams, aerosols and ointments.


Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Diethyl phthalate (DEP) are used in the nail industry as a solvent for coloring dyes and a plasticizer to stick protection onto nail polish to stop cracking and brittleness. Seldom listed on product labels, phthalates are also found in plastics and personal care products. Exposure to this chemical increases the risk to a long list of disorders ranging from ADHD to asthma to low IQ to behavioral issues to obesity to fertility issues. It is especially harmful to pregnant women and young children. Phthalates are absorbed through the skin.