Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Procter & Gamble To Reformulate Herbal Essences

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, April 12, 2010 12:38 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Personal Care Products, Shampoo, Contaminants, Herbal Essences, P&G, Carcinogen

Herbal Essences will be reformulated after pressure from consumer groups and the California

Remove The Contaminant 1,4-dioxane


IMAGE SOURCE: Herbal Essences Web site

This news comes from the Green Patriot Web site.

The group has been testing for petrochemical carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in personal care products for a couple of years now.

The Web site was created to track the progress.

(Founder David Steinman was not alone, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group have all focused on the issue).

At the Natural Products ExpoWest in March, Steinman announced Procter and Gamble (P&G) and Steinman have reached an agreement that will have P&G reformulate the top-selling Herbal Essences brand of shampoos and conditions to reduce levels of the contaminant.

Steinman revealed a letter from counsel for P & G, dated March 4, 2010.

“The company believes that each of its products, including each Herbal Essences branded products complies fully with California’s regulatory scheme,” writes attorney Carolyn Collins of the San Francisco law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP.

Regardless, 18 products in all will be reformulated, some of which had tested at 24 ppm. Contaminant levels will be reduced to 10 ppm or lower to meet a California standard for contaminants.

The reformulation of 17 products will be completed by July 1, 2010 with a goal of completing the reformulation for all production no later than January 2011.

Steinman had promised to file a lawsuit against P & G if the reformulation didn’t take place. Similar lawsuits were filed against other manufacturers by the California AG office last June 2008.

What is 1,4-dioxane?

The chemical makes harsh cleaning ingredients mild. Petrochemical ethylene oxide, a carcinogen, generates 1.4-dioxane as a byproduct.

Under California’s proposition 65, the chemical is a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant, according to the California EPA.

Laundry Detergents

The problem is not limited to hair care products. Steinman and Ronnie Cummins, director of OCA, have tested more than 160 products for 1,4-dioxane. Since it is a contaminant you won’t find it listed on the product label. Of the 20 laundry detergents tested, Tide tops the list with 55 ppm.

To avoid 1,4-dioxane, the OCA urges consumers to search ingredient lists for indications of ethoxylation including: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," any other "eth," "PEG," "polyethylene," "polyethylene glycol," "polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol," in ingredient names.

Hello Kitty Bubble Bath for kids also had the highest concentration of 1,4-dioxane. See the list of other children’s personal care products at the Web site. #

No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes