A – Z of Toxicity in our home – Oxybenzone

  • Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 (trade names Milestab 9, Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567, KAHSCREEN BZ-3) is an organic compound.
  • It is a pale-yellow solid that is readily soluble in most organic solvents.
  • Oxybenzone belongs to the class of aromatic ketones known as benzophenones.
  • Studies have shown its high penetrative capacity as well as our bodies ability to store it.
  • This is potentially harmful since it is known to mimic oestrogen in our body and has been linked to breast cancer.
  • Found in:
    • Sunscreens, lipstick, moisturiser and fragrance for women.
  • Read the label for:
    • Benzophenone-3, oxybenzone
  • Problems associated with it:
    • Hormone disruption, allergies, cell damage


A – Z of Toxicity in our home – Glycol Ethers

  • A common solvent in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics, glycol ethers are known to shrink the testicles of rats exposed to it.
  • Linked to the damage of fertility of unborn children, as well as reported cases of asthma and allergy in children exposed to it from the paint that coats their bedroom walls.
  • Case studies conducted on painters have linked exposure of certain glycol ethers to blood abnormalities and lower sperm counts.
  • Found in:
    • Paints, household cleaners, cosmetics, perfumes
  • Read the label for:
    • 2-butoxyethanol, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether
  • Problems associated with it:
    • Impaired fertility, reproductive and developmental toxicity, possible human carcinogen

A – Z of Toxicity in our home – Formaldehyde / Formaldehyde releasers

  • Some cosmetics chemicals are designed to react with water in the bottle to generate a little formaldehyde, a preservative, to keep the product from growing mould and bacteria.
  • But formaldehyde is a potent allergen which the World Health Organization consider carcinogenic.
  • Formaldehyde releasers include DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15.
  • A 2010 study found that nearly one fifth of cosmetic products contained a formaldehyde releaser. Johnson & Johnson, a personal care products giant, is phasing out formaldehyde releasers under pressure from health advocates
  • Where do you find them?
    • Shampoos, conditioners, bubble bath and other personal care products.
    • Even those intended for children.