This article is an abstract taken from my blog titled, Fighter’s Page (http://survivor-aydee.blogspot.com/). Dedicated to and inspired by my wife’s gallant fight and eventual victory against her breast cancer, it is my intention to use this blog as a tool to convey relevant information pertaining to the dreaded disease. In the course of my ongoing research a dear friend forwarded to me an email, which is actually, a chain letter circulating all over the internet for quite some time now. Perhaps it was her intention to contribute to my personal crusade. She did not know that in the process, she became an innocent tool, in what seems to be a massive internet hoax, probably aimed at destroying the reputation of well known branded cosmetics and other similar products, for whatever reasons known only to its original perpetrators. Below are the excerpts of the email attachment and the results of my subsequent investigation…
“…SHAMPOO Cancer- causing substance in shampoos. Go home and check your shampoo. Change before it's too late... Check the ingredients listed on your shampoo bottle, and see they have a substance by the name of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or simply SLS. This substance is found in most shampoos; manufacturers use it because it produces a lot of foam and it is cheap. BUT the fact is, SLS is used to scrub garage floors, and it is very strong!!! It is also proven that it can cause cancer in the long run, and this is no joke. Shampoos that contains SLS: Vo5, Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, L'Oreal, the new Hemp Shampoo from Body Shop etc. contain this substance. The first ingredient listed (which means it is the single most prevalent ingredient) in Clairol's Herbal Essences is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Therefore, I called one company, and I told them their product contains a substance that will cause people to have cancer. They said, Yeah we knew about it but there is nothing we can do about it because we need that substance to produce foam. By the way Colgate toothpaste also contains the same substance to produce the "bubbles". They said they are going to send me some information. Research has shown that in the 1980s, the chance of getting cancer is 1 out of 8000 and now, in the 1990s, the chances of getting cancer is 1 out of 3, which is very serious. Therefore, I hope that you will take this seriously and pass this on to all the people you know, and hopefully, we can stop "giving" ourselves cancer-causing agents. Please, pass this information.”
My Investigative Results -
Reference: Encarta Encyclopedia Debunking Internet Rumors
Rumor: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Causes Cancer
CTFA Response Statement: Bogus Internet Report on Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
There is a bogus report on the Internet purporting to be from the Journal of the American College of Toxicology (JACT). It is completely misleading and inaccurate. The genuine report on SLS can be found in printed form in the JACT, Vol. 2 Number 7, 1983. The website of the American College of Toxicology, publishers of the JACT, is http://www.actox.org/ It does NOT contain full texts of its reports. This is an example of how information found on the Internet must be checked before using.
CTFA Response Statement: Internet-Spread Rumors About Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Are False and Unsubstantiated
July 12, 2000
…The story relayed via e-mail is an unsubstantiated story. There is no evidence of harm from the use of either SLS or SLES as used in cosmetic products. Both ingredients were reviewed in 1983 by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel and found to be safe. Complete reports on both innts are available from CIR. http://www.cir-safety.org./ American Cancer Society Response
The following are excerpt from many of the e-mails and facts that debunk this myth. E-mail: "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS is commonly found in most shampoos and toothpastes."
Fact: SLS is found in many shampoos, bath products and according to a study published in May 1997 in Journal of Clinical Periodontology, SLS is used in toothpastes and mouth rinses as an emulsifying and surface cleansing agent.
E-mail: "Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is proven to cause cancer in the long run."
Fact: This chemical and its other compounds are known irritants, not known carcinogens. Urban Legend Response
Dateline: 09/09/98 (Updated: 04/21/99)By David Emery The latest dire health warning to circulate by email claims that sodium laureth sulfate, a synthetic chemical found in brand-name shampoos, causes cancer. As is typical of such warnings, the message is unsigned and cites no references to support its claims. . As you shall see, its purpose is not to inform, but to frighten: Conclusion: The web offers infinite opportunity not only for the ethical writers but also for the unscrupulous individuals whose motivations can be anything other than to promote goodwill among men. By using intricately woven lies and deceits any unsuspecting surfer can easily fall prey to these hoaxers. It is therefore most imperative upon any knowledgeable reader to further conduct his own research and investigation until he is fully satisfied that his newly found knowledge is really worth absorbing.