Friday, March 14, 2008

OCA Report on 1,4-dioxane

A difficult article to read today in the LA Times, but something that shouldn’t be ignored: The issue at hand is the Organic Consumers Association, an independent research group discovered that out of 100 “natural” products tested, 47 of them contained 1,4-dioxane, a compound that the EPA has declared a probable human carcinogen because it causes cancer in lab animals. The compound is not intentionally added to products like soaps and shampoos, but is “a byproduct of a process used to soften harsh detergents”. I got the feeling that it was written out of spite (the whole thing has the tone of “ha ha, look we busted all these so-called natural products.) What’s worse, the products listed in the article are all by reputable companies, companies that fight the good fight and that would have (or should have) known better than to let something like this happen. What’s even worse is that because these companies tout themselves as being so environmentally friendly, they will be scrutinized worse than a public official caught with his pants down.

Seventh Generation has already posted a response to the report on their site.

1 comment:

Chrystie said...

Hi CB!

Thank you for covering this very important topic and sharing our thoughts with your audience. We, too, are very concerned about ingredient disclosure and transparency, and we applaud the Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) recent research efforts to educate consumers about the safety of personal care and home cleaning products. We also believe that the decision to stop using conventional synthetic chemical cleaners is one of th emost important ones you'll ever make for the health of your family and the safety of your home.
As you noted, a full explanation is posted on our home page at We are committed to elinating all harmful chemcicals from household cleaning products--and none of our household cleaning sprays contains 1.4-dioxane. It is worth noting that all of the dish liquids tested by the OCA contained ethoxylates, including the low levels found in our dish liquid. And, according to the OCA, no viable alternative currently exists.
Again, thank you for keeping your audience informed.

Chrystie Heimert, Seventh Generation