The Toxic Ten


Environmental Defence's Just Beautiful Pledge exists so that consumers can make informed decisions about the products they buy and to promote the good work of manufacturers and retailers making and/or selling products that are free of Environmental Defence's "Toxic Ten" ingredients. Environmental Defence has developed a set of benchmarks and tools to meet this pledge. All eScential Wellness products meet these requirements, and eScential Wellness was pleased to become a member in May of 2012.

Triclosan: Rated 7, High Risk, by Skin Deep. Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative.It is persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. It may be contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Artificial Musks: Rated 5, of moderate risk, by Skin Deep. It accumulates in the body and is persistent and toxic in the environment. It may be implicated in hormone disruption, and be toxic to non-reproductive organ systems. Nitromusks such as musk xylene, musk ketone. Found in some products that contain fragrance or parfum, various hair products, moisturizers, cosmetics, even those labelled "unscented".

Parabens: Rated 4-7, of moderate risk, by Skin Deep. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors. They are preservatives in products. Ethylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben or propylparaben. Found in various cosmetics and moisturizers.

Phthalates: These are fragrance extenders. Dibutyl phthalate is rated 10, high risk, by Skin Deep. The State of California classify dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as a reproductive and developmental toxicant, and the European Union banned the use of this ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. Prenatal exposure to DBP has been associated with changes in the reproductive system development in baby boys. In adult men, DBP has been correlated with changes in serum hormone levels, lower sperm concentration and motility, and decreased fertility syndrome. Dibutyl phthalate, DEHP, DEP. Found in nail products, scented products.

Petrolatum: Rated 4, of moderate risk, by Skin Deep. There are contamination concerns, and possible non-reproductive organ toxicity. Petroleum jelly. Found in various lip, skin and hair products.

Formaldehyde releasing agents: These are used as preservatives. Rated 4-8 moderate to high risk, by Skin Deep. Contamination concerns, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs); possibly toxic to non-reproductive organ systems. 1,4 dioxane is carcinogenic (implicated in causing cancer.) Quaternium-15, 1,4 dioxane, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and sodium hydromethylglycinate. Found in various hair products, moisturizers and cosmetics.

Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate: These are foaming agents and found in anything that lathers, like soap, and toothpaste. Rated 1-3 (low to moderate risk) by Skin Deep. There are concerns of contamination with 1,4 dioxane (see above) as well as acting as an irritant to skin, eyes and lungs. Found in products that lather: shampoo, toothpaste, and body wash.

Coal tar derived colors: Rated 7, of moderate risk, by Skin Deep. It is associated with allergic reactions, and, irritation to skin, eyes and lungs. Possibly toxic to non-reproductive organ systems.

Silicone chemicals: Rated 2-5, low to moderate risk, by Skin Deep. Possible endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Persistence and bioaccumulation. Cyclomethicone, cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexosiloxane. In hair products, moisturizers and cosmetics.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) & BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): Used as preservatives. Rated 6-10, moderate to very high risk by Skin Deep. It is an endocrine disruptor, accumulates in the body, is toxic to non-reproductive organ systems. It is persistent - hard to get rid of in the environment. In moisturizers, makeup and some fragrances.

For more information on the toxic ten, please visit the Environmental Defense website at: http://environmentaldefence.ca/issues/just-beautiful/glossary