Dish soaps are used in an effort to clean so that you can stay healthy. However, there may be harmful chemicals lurking in these soaps that may negatively impact your health. Many dish soaps contain harmful chemicals and should be avoided to optimize health. Some of these chemicals include silicate salts, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, certain fragrances and ammonium sulfate.
Silicate salts found commonly in many soaps like Palmolive may cause eye and skin irritation and it can be dangerous if inhaled or consumed as well. While low amounts are classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, there are concerns regarding allergic reactions, organ system toxicity and respiratory issues.
Formaldehyde can be found in Palmolive, Ajax, Dawn and many other common soaps and household cleaners. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has graded this widely used chemical and found many areas of concern. They rank it as being of high concern for skin allergies and irritation as well as for cancer. The chemical is of moderate concern regarding asthma and respiratory issues. It may cause severe skin burns and eye damage and general systemic organ effects.
Sulfuric acid can be found in Palmolive and Ajax. The EWG provides evidence that this chemical may cause severe skin burns, eye damage, dermatitis and skin allergies/irritation. It is a known carcinogen. Also, the chemical itself may be an asthmagen and cause respiratory irritation. The US Food and Drug Administration states that this substance is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), but considering the potential health risks and the fact that it is a widely used chemical, it might be best avoided when possible.
Certain fragrances commonly used in soaps, specifically pentasodium pentetate, can be harmful to you and your family’s health. This chemical is widely found in cosmetics, food additives and many household cleaners including and Palmolive and Ajax. It is potentially irritating to the skin and eyes. The EWG deems it a chemical of low concern, but also acknowledges that the evidence is lacking regarding its safety. As such, avoiding it may be best.
Palmolive and Ajax both contain ammonium sulfate. The EWG suggests that this chemical is of some concern. Specifically, it is a skin irritant and there are risks for asthma/respiratory issues and cancer.
All five of these potentially harmful ingredients can be found in many Palmolive soaps as well as other soaps like Dawn, Ajax, Meyers, Legacy of Clean and Cucina. While some of these chemicals may be GRAS, they are commonly used which increases your chance of exposure to harmful levels and thus, may produce ill health effects. Therefore, you may be best advised to steer clear of these products and opt for alternatives.
Search for a company that produces natural products with all-natural and even organic ingredients as their main ingredients when looking for a healthy alternative. Usually, these are the companies that care about health and wellness of their customers and take great care to make sure their products don’t contain any harmful or even questionable ingredients.
You can likely find a ‘green’ option at your grocery store, or you can check out BR Naturals and their line of plant oil-based soaps – good for all purposes – as well as body care, and pure cooking oils.