The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is surveying U.S. makers of personal care products to ask if they are working to remove 1,4-dioxane, a potential human carcinogen, from their products.
At least 8,000 products on the market contain ethoxylated ingredients, which may be contaminated with the chemical, according to EWG’s Skin Deep® database.
Last week, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban 1,4-dioxane from personal care products. EWG followed up by sending its survey to approximately 500 makers of shampoos, shower gels, body washes, foaming hand soaps, bubble baths and lotions. 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of other cosmetics chemicals that may be used in those products. The EWG survey asks manufacturers if they use ethoxylated ingredients in their products and what steps they’re taking to strip 1,4-dioxane from those ingredients.
“The health risks posed by exposure to 1,4-dioxane deserve immediate action from the FDA,” says Scott Faber, EWG's senior vice president of government affairs, in a news release. “Manufacturers need to be aware of the hazardous substances found in their personal care products..”