One Answer Down. Many More To Go.

I don’t know about you. But, I like answers.

I wasn’t getting answers. I was getting bandaids. A few times, I was told “it” was in my head. At the end of my rope one doctor told me, “You should stop shopping doctors”. Did they really think I was making all this up? I was a mom of four children under the age of 6, always working on fun projects (one of which I love to call “work”) and continually adding and crossing off a mile long to-do list. But now, I was having a hard time doing life, fun projects were painful, my to-do list was painful, sleep was painful, sitting was painful, standing was painful. My brain was failing me and so was my body. Everything was pointing to my thyroid.

google: “What ingredients can affect the thyroid?”


What is TRICLOSAN? Where was Triclosan?

-Used as antimicrobial agents in soaps, hand sanitizer and toothpaste, the CDC found triclosan in the urine of 75 percent of people tested, due to widespread use of antimicrobial products. Triclosan has been linked to hormone disruption, development of antibacterial resistance, and environmental concerns. Triclosan exposures may be associated with altered thyroid hormone levels in humans.-

Triclosan and triclocarban are commonly used antimicrobial agents found in many soaps and detergents.[1] The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified triclosan in the urine of 75 percent people tested.[2]Widespread use with few regulations has led to concerns regarding their effects on humans and the environment, such as endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, and the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibodies and antibacterial products.

FOUND IN: Antibacterial soaps and detergents, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products, creams, color cosmetics.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Triclosan (TSC) and triclocarban (TCC)

WHAT IS TRICLOSAN? Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent found in a wide variety of antibacterial soaps and detergents, as well as in many deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics and plastics. It was initially developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals, but in recent years it has been added to a host of consumer products, from kitchen cutting boards to shoes, in order to kill bacteria and fungus and prevent odors. 

HEALTH CONCERNS: Endocrine disruption, triclosan-resistant bacteria, environmental toxicity (bioaccumulation). 

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: All populations, especially pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.

REGULATIONS: Triclosan is restricted in cosmetics in Canada and Japan; triclocarban is restricted in cosmetics use in the European Union and is classified to be toxic or harmful by the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List.[3] The EPA regulates triclosan as a pesticide and is currently updating its assessment of the effects of triclosan as a pesticide.[4]

HOW TO AVOID: Avoid products that indicate triclosan and triclocarban on the label. Stick with plain soap and water—the FDA found no evidence that antibacterial washes containing triclosan are any more effective at protecting against bacteria.[5]

Hand sanitizer? Toothpaste? I’d been looking at the ingredients in the food I bought, but never on hand santizer or tooth paste. With four little ones under 6 years old, you better bet I was armed with plenty of hand santizer. We were obviously brushing our kids teeth. Was I using a chemical that could also be affecting their hormones and thyroid too?

I went straight my purse. Hand santizer. Triclosan.

I headed to the bathroom. Kids toothpaste. Triclosan. My toothpaste. Triclosan

The hand soap. Triclosan. The dish soap. Triclosan.

Wait, what?! Why would an ingredient that could harm our health be in our soap? And why the hell would we be putting this chemical in our children’s mouths? I was getting more angry and confused by the minute. Why didn’t any of the doctors I was “shopping” tell me this? I’d had surgery. I had half of a thryroid. My levels were all over the place. But forget about me…. what about my littles?! Why hadn’t I heard this before?

So, down the rabbit hole I went. I need answers for me and my family.


What is SLS? Where was it found?

  • A common ingredient in personal care products, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an additive that allows cleansing products to foam. According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.

SLS is linked to 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity and may be found in as many as 22 percent of the more than 25,000 cosmetics products in the Skin Deep database [1], but you won’t find it on ingredient labels. That’s because 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant created when common ingredients react to form the compound when mixed together.

FOUND IN: Products that create suds (such as shampoo, liquid soap, body wash, bubble bath, detergent), hair relaxers, industrial cleansers, makeup, more

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth

1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. 

This process creates 1,4-dioxane. For example, sodium laurel sulfate, a chemical that is harsh on the skin, is often converted to the less-harsh chemical sodium laureth sulfate (the “eth” denotes ethoxylation). The conversion process can lead to contamination of this ingredient with 1,4-dioxane. Other common ingredients that may be contaminated by 1,4-dioxane include PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth”. Most commonly, 1,4-dioxane is found in products that create suds, like shampoo, liquid soap and bubble bath. Environmental Working Group’s analysis suggests that 97 percent of hair relaxers, 57 percent of baby soaps and 22 percent of all products in Skin Deep may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane [1]. Independent lab tests co-released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2007 showed that popular brands of children’s bubble bath and body wash contained 1,4-dioxane.


Cancer: Research shows that 1,4-dioxane readily penetrates the skin [2]. 1,4-dioxane is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [3] and is listed as an animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program [4]. It is included on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer or birth defects [5].

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: Pregnant women, infants, teenagers

REGULATIONS: Banned/found unsafe for use in cosmetics in Canada

HOW TO AVOID: The FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels because the chemical is a contaminant produced during manufacturing. Without labeling, there is no way to know for certain whether a product contains 1,4,-dioxane, making it difficult for consumers to avoid it.

Back to my purse, the bathroom and the kitchen. SLS was everywhere I looked. To say I was F.I.R.E.D. up was an understatement.

Fast forward to 2017. The rabbit hole was deep. As a family, we made lots of changes to eliminate and avoid ingredients in our home that could harm us. Food and products. And you better bet I was telling everyone I knew what I was learning.

But, I wasn’t any better. In fact, I was worse. My pain, brain fog and my anxiety were at an all time high. My thyroid was still on a roller coaster. I seriously started questioning if my life was going to be short lived. I was petrified.

And then one day, my husband and I started to put together the time line. My stomach flipped and felt heavy at the thought. But, it started making since to us. I had hope that I might have an answer.

It would be far from simple.

References & Resources

[1] Halden RU. “On the need and speed of regulating triclosan and triclocarban in the United States.” Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Apr 1;48(7):3603-11. Print.[2] Calafat A et al. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004.” Environ Health Perspect. 116:303-307. Print.[3] EWG’s Skindeep Database. Triclocarban. Available online: Accessed June 22, 2015.[4] EPA. Frequent Questions Associated with the RED. Available online: Accessed June 23, 2015.[5] Wood A. 2005. FDA Non-Prescription Drugs Advisory Committee. Available online: Accessed November 5, 2013.[1] Environmental Working Group (2007). Impurities of Concern in Personal Care Products. Available at Accessed August 19, 2008.
[2] Spath, D.P.  “1,4-Dioxane Action Level.”  March 24, 1998.  Memorandum from Spath, Chief of the Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management, Department of Health Services, 601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, California 95814 to George Alexeeff, Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.  Viewed at:
[3] Environmental Protection Agency (2003). 1,4 Dioxane (CASRN 123-91-1). Integrated Risk Information System. Available at Accessed August 19, 2008.
[4] National Toxicology Program (2005). Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, January 2005. Available at  Accessed August 19, 2008.

Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Mercola: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Facts vs. Fairy Tales

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: 1,4-Dioxane