#4–More Harmful Skin Care Chemicals–Formaldehyde

May 1st, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

We all learned about formaldehyde when we took science courses in junior high and high school.  It is that nasty smelling stuff that preserves dead animals and insects for scientific study.  Well, guess what?  A lot of skin care products have chemicals that are designed to release formaldehyde.  And we’re putting that nasty stuff on our skin every day.

The chemicals are these:  DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and sodium hydrozymethylglycinate.  These chemicals occur naturally in our environment, at very low levels; combined production of them worldwide exceeds 21 million tons every year.  They release formaldehyde, which is used as a preservative, when added to products we put on our skin.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.  Scientists tell us inhaling it is potentially more harmful than any other form of contact.  IARC promotes international collaboration in cancer research, and is part of the World Health Organization.

Formaldehyde is a restricted ingredient in Canada, the United States and the European Union. Concentrations greater than 0.2 per cent to 0.05 per cent are prohibited.  “However, there is no restriction on the low-levels of formaldehyde released by SMSM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinly urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxmethylglycinate,nor on the use of these ingredients themselves.” (David Suzuki Foundation)

I bought nail polish this week, and intentionally looked for one that said, “No formaldehyde”.  I found it, and bought it.  Read the labels, dear friends!  You can find safe and beneficial products that do not contain formaldehyde.



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