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Follow-Up Tests of Leading Personal Care and Household Cleaning Brands Reveal Significant Improvements in Levels of Carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane

But New Study Indicates Many Products Mislabeled as 'Natural' and 'Organic' Should Still Have Cancer Warning

ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, March 6, 2009 a follow-up study on 1,4-dioxane contamination in consumer products commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a watchdog group with over 500,000 members, and overseen by environmental health consumer advocate David Steinman (author of The Safe Shopper's Bible), will be released. The study analyzes leading major "natural" and "organic" as well as conventional brand shampoos, body washes, dish soap and other personal care and cleaning products which come in contact with human skin for the presence of the undisclosed carcinogenic petrochemical contaminant 1,4-dioxane. The independent third-party laboratory, Bodycote Testing Group, known for rigorous testing and chain-of-custody protocols, performed all testing.

The results indicate significant improvement for products from sixteen major brands coinciding with public announcements of test results beginning in February 2007, and lawsuits from the California Attorney General's office in June 2008 (following release of test results in March 2008). The OCA pledges to keep up the pressure until every brand claiming to be "natural" or "organic" removes 1,4-dioxane and other carcinogenic or problematic chemicals from their products.

WHO: David Steinman, Environmental Health Consumer Advocate

Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director, Organic Consumers Association

WHAT: Press conference on 1,4-dioxane in "Natural" and "Organic" Personal Care and Household Cleaning Products

WHEN: Friday, March 6, 2009, 9:00 a.m. PST to coincide with the Natural Products Expo West

WHERE: Anaheim Hilton, 777 Convention Way, Anaheim CA, 92802, Coronado Room 4th Floor


Ethoxylation, a cheap shortcut companies use to provide mildness to harsh cleaning ingredients, requires the use of the cancer-causing petrochemical ethylene oxide, which generates 1,4-dioxane as a byproduct. 1,4-dioxane is considered a chemical "known to the State of California to cause cancer" under proposition 65, and has no place in "natural" or "organic" branded personal care products. 1,4-dioxane is also suspected as a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant, among others, according to the California EPA, and is a significant groundwater contaminant. While previous studies have revealed the presence of 1,4-dioxane in "natural" and conventional products, this latest study shows the toxin is being significantly reduced as brands reformulate.

Further Resources

OCA Facts about 1,4-dioxane:

2008 Press Release and Results:

Lawsuits from the CA Attorney General's office:

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

Environmental Working Group:

SOURCE Organic Consumers Association
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