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guska
November 10th, 2018, 02:48 PM
So a while ago I started thinking about going back to CO, but only on one condition: the conditioner I use must be free of parabens, silicones and sulfates. A while ago I found a five year old conditioner in my stash that should still be fine to use. The ingredients list is here below.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Octyldodecanol, Parfum, Aloe Barbadensis, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panthenol, Tocopherol

So this conditioner is pretty much everything-free. No parabens, silicones or sulfates. And AFAIK, it has aloe vera, protein (which my hair's fine with), vitamin B and E and a moisturising alchohol.

A few days ago I did a little research and found some of sources stating that citric acid and sodium benzoate produces benzene (a carcinogen). Other sources stated that sodium benzoate + citric acid does not produce benzene, or only under some specific conditions (at low pH-levels or at high temperatures). Nevertheless, these contradictions made me a little paranoid shudder: Maybe someone with more knowledge in chemistry could offer his/her input on this topic?

Ylva
November 10th, 2018, 02:49 PM
I have heard the same explanation as you, about pH levels and temperatures. Personally I haven't found myself worrying about those ingredients after the initial shock.

JennGalt
November 10th, 2018, 03:50 PM
From my cursory search it appears it won’t happen if there is much more Vitamin C than sodium benzoate, and also is unlikely to happen outside of a low pH—much lower than you’d want on your scalp. I wouldn’t worry unless you plan on drinking the stuff or using pure vinegar to wash and rinse. You should be fine. And it’s just one bottle, right? Not like repeated exposure over many years like someone who smokes a pack a day and who can’t or doesn’t want to quit.

Personally, I think it’s probably fine, but if it bothers you, there’s no shame in giving it away or throwing it out. Simply not wanting it on your head is a good enough reason :flower:

(And I’m not trying to throw shade at smokers. I just couldn’t think of another example for repeated exposure.)

lapushka
November 10th, 2018, 04:05 PM
(And I’m not trying to throw shade at smokers. I just couldn’t think of another example for repeated exposure.)

That's good, because my parents have been smokers all their lives and are in their early 70s and perfectly fine. They are cautious about it though and don't smoke a lot. Especially in later years. They also were always courteous, never smoked around me as a child, and never in the car!

JennGalt
November 10th, 2018, 04:26 PM
That's good, because my parents have been smokers all their lives and are in their early 70s and perfectly fine. They are cautious about it though and don't smoke a lot. Especially in later years. They also were always courteous, never smoked around me as a child, and never in the car!

From what I understand, carcinogens just increase the likelihood that something will go disastrously wrong in DNA replication and mitosis. Some people have incredibly hardy DNA and avoid that. My grandpa smoked two to three packs a day most of his life and lived to be 82 with no sign of cancer. (However, he had three heart attacks and most people on that side of my family lived to their late 90s with few or no health problems :shrug: ) Carcinogens do not make cancer a certainty, but we know some are effective enough that it’s best to avoid them or at least avoid high concentrations or repeated exposure.

lapushka
November 10th, 2018, 04:30 PM
From what I understand, carcinogens just increase the likelihood that something will go disastrously wrong in DNA replication and mitosis. Some people have incredibly hardy DNA and avoid that. My grandpa smoked two to three packs a day most of his life and lived to be 82 with no sign of cancer. (However, he had three heart attacks and most people on that side of my family lived to their late 90s with few or no health problems :shrug: ) Carcinogens do not make cancer a certainty, but we know some are effective enough that it’s best to avoid them or at least avoid high concentrations or repeated exposure.

That goes for a lot of products though, and if there are still people not developing cancer from "supposed" carcinogens, is the link proven? I think you either get cancer or you don't. I mean what about little babies and children that develop cancer, and they've hardly been exposed to bad things. That is my whole issue with these types of discussions. :)

But I don't want to derail the thread. ;)

Ylva
November 10th, 2018, 06:20 PM
About the cancer and carcinogens matter.

Our genetics determine what we are prone to, but our actions can sway it one way or the other. We might not be able to prevent cancer if we are genetically strongly predisposed to it, but a healthy lifestyle might be just what saves you from it as well. But I would certainly not belittle the dangers of smoking simply because some individuals don't suffer negative consequences from it - it still doesn't make it healthy, or good for the environment. :)

illicitlizard
November 10th, 2018, 10:54 PM
Carcinogens certainly matter. Cancer formation is based on many factors, genetics being only a slice. Being exposed to smoking, asbestos, UV light, leading a generally unhealthy lifestyle, HPV, even chronic inflammatory conditions like IBD can all increase the risk of cancer.

Afaik scientists tend to test carcinogens to see if they cause cancer in other animals so it's not like they're pulling the hardcore carcinogen classifications out of their a*ses
https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/91/14/1194/2549271

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet

It's definitely harmful, evidence overwhelmingly suggests that smoking directly screws with your health (especially lungs). Smoking less is better than smoking a lot but not smoking at all is by far the best option if you can.

That's not to say everyone who smokes will get cancer or that they will even die from something related to smoking. It's the same with anything, obesity contributes to disease, but not all obese people will die from obesity related issues. It just increases the risk.

That said, I don't dislike smokers for being smokers. Especially those who are conscientious about it i.e. not smoking in the house/car/around their children. My parents have all smoked at one point or another so I totally get the want to defend such actions, but pretending it has no ill effects is nonsensical.

Back to the initial topic, I couldn't find any reputable sources talking about adverse reactions between citric acid and sodium benzoate. A lot of scaremongering though which throws up red flags to me. Benzene is indeed a known carcinogen, but idk if it'd be produced in your conditioner, sorry, not a chemist haha \_(ツ)_/

Joules
November 11th, 2018, 01:08 AM
Whenever I hear someone panic about ingredients in hair care being carcinogens, I remember the joke I heard a few years back:

100% of those who drank water died. Water kills people!

Your conditioner won't cause premature death unless you eat a bottle of it every day, but in this case death won't be caused by cancer. Said supposed carcinogen is contained there in miniscule amounts, and whatever manges to get through our skin into the bloodstream (if that's even possible) isn't gonna matter at all. You can get more carcinogens into your system by just walking outside on a busy day and breathing in exhaust gases from cars.

lapushka
November 11th, 2018, 05:06 AM
Whenever I hear someone panic about ingredients in hair care being carcinogens, I remember the joke I heard a few years back:

100% of those who drank water died. Water kills people!

Your conditioner won't cause premature death unless you eat a bottle of it every day, but in this case death won't be caused by cancer. Said supposed carcinogen is contained there in miniscule amounts, and whatever manges to get through our skin into the bloodstream (if that's even possible) isn't gonna matter at all. You can get more carcinogens into your system by just walking outside on a busy day and breathing in exhaust gases from cars.

Well said! :thumbsup:

guska
November 11th, 2018, 05:16 AM
Thanks guys for your replies!

I guess that I should stop being so paranoid about chemicals in hair products, after all, we humans are made up of chemicals :shrug: I'll use up this bottle and probably buy another one if my hair likes it :)

Margarita
November 11th, 2018, 09:27 AM
Each person genetics are determined if he is gonna get cancer or not. In simple words, this 'determine', becomes 'programmed'. Absolutely no matter if we use everyday products either for food, hair products, body products(which actually our skin absorb the cream into the blood, which i cant say its good), which all these products may be carcinogens, doesnt mean you'll get cancer. Your body/blood will <<decide>> if the cancer will occure. To be honest, by saying 'carcinogens' means that they MAY increase the POSSIBILITY to get cancer, but IT DOESNT MEAN IT WILL. Thats why there are healthy smokers who live up to 80-90. Its beacause of the genetics. For example of a chemical, Ammonia is contained within hair dyes, right? Its a chemical, it may be even in cigarettes. Its wise to be aware of the ingredients when you shop for body products or hair products, having in your mind that you should shop in high/good quality shops if you're really a person who feels safe using products from actually good shops. :D

Margarita
November 11th, 2018, 09:29 AM
That goes for a lot of products though, and if there are still people not developing cancer from "supposed" carcinogens, is the link proven? I think you either get cancer or you don't. I mean what about little babies and children that develop cancer, and they've hardly been exposed to bad things. That is my whole issue with these types of discussions. :)

But I don't want to derail the thread. ;)

Absolutely right!

MusicalSpoons
November 11th, 2018, 09:44 AM
Whenever I hear someone panic about ingredients in hair care being carcinogens, I remember the joke I heard a few years back:

100% of those who drank water died. Water kills people!

Your conditioner won't cause premature death unless you eat a bottle of it every day, but in this case death won't be caused by cancer. Said supposed carcinogen is contained there in miniscule amounts, and whatever manges to get through our skin into the bloodstream (if that's even possible) isn't gonna matter at all. You can get more carcinogens into your system by just walking outside on a busy day and breathing in exhaust gases from cars.

Very well said! (The whole post, not just the part in bold :doh: )

This website is a perfect example of how language can be used to imply correlation and make harmless things sound terrifying: http://www.dhmo.org
(Just for anyone who's not entirely sure, the key to understanding the website is that Dihydrogen Monoxide = H2O = water.)

chrissy-b
November 11th, 2018, 01:50 PM
I live in CA and Prop 65 ensures that almost everything even potentially dangerous is labeled "WARNING: This product (or area) contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." This warning is on all Chinese medicine from my acupuncturist. The signs are on gas stations, and parking garages. My gym even has this sign on its wall because of the old building it's in. I cannot go anywhere or buy anything without seeing that label on something.

I've read about the citric acid & sodium thing but I thought it was only dangerous if ingested. But also, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If I did, I would never be able to leave my house here in CA!