Today's daft label analysis in the G2 features shampoo. For those unfamiliar with the Label Watch section, it basically looks at the ingredients list on the back of various everyday items and goes "oooh that sounds like a nasty chemical name, it must be bad for you".
First on the list is sodium laureth sulfate (or sodium dodecyl sulphate/SDS as it is known everywhere else except ingredient lists).
"SLS is a cheap foaming agent used in shampoos and other toiletries, including toothpaste."
Unsurprising, considering it is a detergent and detergents are useful things to have in a product that is supposed to clean something.
"There have been persistent claims that it is carcinogenic, particularly after it was the subject of an unattributed email alert in the late 1990s."
Hahahahahaha. Yes and people from Nigeria really do want to give us 10 MILLION DOLLARS, clicking the unsubscribe link in spam will result in us getting fewer junk emails and attachments from random people really will contain pictures of naked amoebas.
"But SLS has repeatedly been passed as safe by a number of health agencies around the world. The WHO considers it an "unlikely carcinogen". "
Aaaaah, but it might be. They didn't deny it so it must be true, right?
"The US Environmental Protection Agency says it's been shown that SLS produces skin and eye irritation in concentrations above 5%. (Labelling laws do not require the concentration to be specified.)""
We bet you didn't know that. So (cue sinister music), does shampoo have more than 5% SDS in it? Does it cause eye and skin irritation? This calls for a scientific test, so we made one up. Here's the protocol.
1. Put shampoo on hand (DO NOT DILUTE).
2. Use hand to put shampoo in eye.
3. Note how irritating it is on a scale of 1 to 10.
4. Let us know how your favourite brand of shampoo scored.*
5. It is probably a good idea to rinse the shampoo out of your eye at some point.
* We claim no responsibility for any pointing and laughing that might result from admitting you intentionally put shampoo in your eye.