Last year, my first blog post was about my search for a 1,4-Dioxane free liquid dish detergent. 1,4-Dioxane can be found in claimed natural and non-certified organic products, including dish detergents. 1,4-Dioxane is a “byproduct of a process used to soften harsh detergents”, according to the LA Times. This chemical is believed to cause damage to the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys. On January 1, 1988, California recognized it as a chemical that can cause cancer.
I listed a few options with their levels of 1,4-Dioxane according to a study by the Organic Consumers Association. I started using Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Detergent because it seemed to have the lowest traces of it and was an option I could find easily. Seventh Generation responded to the findings right around the time of the report, acknowledged that their product contained 1,4-Dioxane, and stated that they want to eliminate it as soon as they can. On their web site they stated:
“The compound wasn’t highlighted on our web site nor detailed in our corporate responsibility report. In this, we had failed.”
I contacted Seventh Generation last week and asked them if their Naural Dish Detergent still contains 1,4-Dioxane. I was informed that it does. However, a new 1,4-Dioxane free formula has been created and you can expect to see it on store shelves at the end of the summer with labeling stating that it’s the new formula. Here is the statement I received from them:
In 2008, the Organic Consumer Association released a report that indicated low levels of 1,4-dioxane in our Dish liquid. As the OCA reported, the compound is a byproduct of a process used to improve the degreasing agent in detergents – not an ingredient. While our levels were fifty times lower than another so-called “natural” brand, we agreed that 1,4-dioxane doesn’t belong in our products and worked with our supplier to eliminate it entirely. I’m happy to report that in March 2009, the OCA reported our products as “None Detected“ for 1,4-dioxane. Even better, this initiative has spurred many in our industry to follow our lead. The reformulated Seventh Generation Hand Dish Liquid will be available to consumers by end of summer.
You can see the full list of soap, shampoo, and cleaning products tested by the Organic Consumer’s Association dated March 6, 2009, with their 1,4-Dioxane levels here.