The issue with any ingredient that is treated with ethylene oxide is that it can then become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potentially dangerous by-product. 1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen that can penetrate into the skin. This ingredient has also been linked to skin allergies. A class-action lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey against manufacturers of children’s bath and personal care products because defendants manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold products containing formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
The Organic Consumers Organization, adopting information from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, released a fact sheet on 1,4-dioxane. The report shows that the levels of 1,4-dioxane found in many personal care products are 1,000 times higher than those found to cause cancer in animal studies. They also add that according to the FDA, “Skin absorption studies demonstrated that dioxane readily penetrates animal and human skin from various types of vehicles.”
This means that your skin could be absorbing a lot of the 1,4-dioxane in your products. Especially if you are taking a hot shower or bath and your pores are open.