SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) AND SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES)
Found in: dish soap, liquid laundry detergents, cleaning towelettes, and toilet bowl cleaners
Health Risks: Sodium lauryl sulfate is a skin irritant and Environment Canada’s preliminary categorization of this chemical indicates that it may be toxic to the environment. Sodium laureth sulfate is the “ethoxylated” form of this chemical, which is less harsh. However, the process of ethoxylation can leave behind traces of 1,4-dioxane, a possible human carcinogen that is persistent in the environment (see also DEA, MEA, TEA).