SHAMPOO NO NO's
Showering is the backbone for so many in the morning. Lathering up and rinsing it all off wakes you up while getting you fresh and ready to start the day. Unfortunately hidden in those bubbles circling the drain are chemicals that will lock themselves on tight to water. Once they’ve made it down the drain they hold on tight making it impossible for standard filtration systems to remove them before they go back to the ocean or your drinking water.
Hope is not lost though. Next time you find yourself walking up and down the shampoo aisle flip over to your ingredients list and avoid these key ingredients.
Sodium Lauretha Sulfate
The most common culprit. This ingredient can also be found in soap and laundry detergent because it’s what makes all those luscious bubbles strong enough to strip away oil and grease.
Parabens are added to help increase shelf-life but are a known carcinogen connected to breast cancer. They’re rather harsh on your hair too and getting easier and easier to avoid. Take your time on the labels looking for this one. Typically, “paraben” is hidden inside a super long scientific name like methylparaben or propylparaben.
Another chemical stabilizer, phthalates has been on the FDA’s watch list but has yet to be proven as harmful. A decision muddled in the complicated definitions of what makes something cosmetic and what makes it a drug.
Used to keep the bubbles luscious ammonium chloride can be harsh on your skin and even harsher when it makes its way down the drain to water. These chemicals present in water can be deadly to sea life, and eventually human life when those contaminated fish are consumed.
Typically hidden under the name quaternion-15, because formaldehyde has already had a nasty reputation for its dangerous cancer-causing past.
A water-based stabilizer. This chemical has been linked to lung toxicity, skin infections, and neurological damage.
We all wash our hair for that shampoo smell, but unfortunately, most of these fragrances are harsh on our skin and sneak right past filters mixing into drinking water and water sources for animals.
Luckily, people are beginning to open their eyes to the things we’re putting into our water more and more natural products are popping up.
Images: Design Milk, Listal
Words by Kelly Delany
Additional Resources: Polluting The Water With Shampoo, Toothpaste and Drugs. (2012, September 12). Investigate West,
Blaney, L. E. (2017, April 12) CBS News