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Question from J. P.

Can you tell me about Sodium Laureth Sulfate? I know labels often say it is “derived from coconut”, but is it really a natural ingredient?

Debra’s Answer

To answer your question, here is an excerpt from my book Home Safe Home about natural ingredients bold added.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is also produced via ethoxylation. Ethoxylated surfactants may be contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4- Dioxane dioxin, as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Carcinogens are considered cause for concern even at very low levels.

I’m not going to comment on whether or not one should or shouldn’t use products containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate. There is a lot of controversy about this which you can read by typing “Sodium Laureth Sulfate” into any seach engine.

My only point here is that even though Sodium Laureth Sulfate is “derived from coconut oil”, it’s not what I would consider to be natural in the sense that it is in the state in which it occurs in nature.

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