Hidden Formaldehyde

 formaldehyde, only classified as a carcinogen in the USA in 2011, and confirmed by the National Academy even more recently.

Formaldehyde can be considered a universal cross-linker, and is used commonly in embalming fluids, to preserve biological specimens, and as a disinfectant.  It was once listed as an ingredient in J&J Baby Shampoo, perhaps included for that last use (disinfection, to prevent the bottled liquid from becoming contaminated with bacteria…)

In cells, you can imagine that all the molecules can be randomly stuck together due to the action of such a cross-linker, with potentially severe impact upon genomic integrity.

 methylene glycol, sometimes listed as an ingredient in personal care products.

These compounds, formaldehyde and methylene glycol, are considered in equilibrium in solution, so including methylene glycol in the formulation of a product means formaldehyde is also there

Nonetheless, in spite of the clear chemistry involved, there is at least one example of a 'scientific paper' (which could be considered a travesty of science, sad to say) that attempts to question this situation.  This has already been discussed in the Blog for AGiR! (5oct2014 post, for example).  Other chemicals sometimes included in personal care product formulations can result in 'release' of formaldehyde, for instance, quaternium-15, also part of the controversy about baby shampoo formulations discussed in that same blog post and by many others…

When even ingredient lists avoid showing which 'ingredients of concern' are really contained in a product, such hidden dangers can sometimes only be avoided by avoiding the routes of exposure.  
For instance, one common cause for exposure to such compounds is hair straightening treatments, as discussed in the link above.  Even hair 'permanent' solutions (to add curls to one's hair) increase such exposure risk!  

The safe alternative is thus to learn to love the natural tendencies of your hair, whether curly or straight, and in spite of the various calls of the fashion mavens!

You are beautiful (or handsome), when you are clean and healthy!   Believe it!


Take care!

For your further info, here is a link about other hidden chemical ingredients of concern from the Environmental Working Group.

Genomic integrity is threatened by ingredients in personal care products.  Providing information and promoting research are the primary aims of this non-profit association, Action for Genomic Integrity through Research (AGIR)!