1, 4-Dioxane in Organic Body Care Products

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/18/08 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 19th, 2022 at 10:30 pm

It literally pains me to write this post. It seems as though the moment I have everything under control as far as safe products go, something else pops up. And honestly, I try incredibly hard not to make this website feel “alarmist” and “We’re all gonna diiiiiieeee” in it’s tone but this is one of those times where I just can’t help it. I found an article last week about dioxane and tried to ignore it, but then I found a similar one so here’s the reported scoop:

Cancer-causing agent 1, 4-dioxane is known to be present in many conventional personal care products. But a new study released March 14 by the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) shows that the toxin is also present in many leading brands of claimed natural and uncertified organic shampoos, body washes, lotions and other personal care products.

1,4 dioxane is, by definition, used in solvent applications for manufacturing. The chemical is also used as a foaming agent and appears as an accidental byproduct of a process in cosmetics manufacturing. It may contaminate cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Why should I be concerned? I’ll tell you. Dioxane is a known eye and respiratory irritant and is suspected of causing damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. Accidental exposure to people working with it has been known to cause deaths. Dioxane is classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans due to the fact that it is a known carcinogen in animals.

Some of the leading brands that tested positive for 1, 4-dioxane include Jason Pure Natural & Organic, Giovanni Organic Cosmetics, Kiss My Face, Nature’s Gate Organics. Some of the leading brands that did not test positive for the toxin include all USDA Certified brands including Dr. Bronner’s Sensibility Soaps (Nourish), Terressentials and all German Natural “BDIH” Certified brands including Aubrey Organics and Dr. Hauschka.

One of the things that always frustrates me the most about this kind of information is that there is a billion sites telling you why its bad, BAD, BAD! but they never give you the information needed to avoid it.

How to Avoid it:

Read the full article: FoodConsumer.org

Update: Here is the source list of products tested by the Organic Consumer Association.

Keep Reading