The company, co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, is challenging giants such as Procter & Gamble Co. and Clorox Co. with a guarantee that its offerings don’t contain what it says are harsh chemicals found in many mainstream products.
But two independent lab tests commissioned by The Wall Street Journal determined Honest’s liquid laundry detergent contains SLS.
“Our findings support that there is a significant amount of sodium lauryl sulfate” in Honest’s detergent, said Barbara Pavan, a chemist at one of the labs, Impact Analytical. Another lab, Chemir, a division of EAG Inc., said its test for SLS found about the same concentration as Tide, which is made by P&G. “It was not a trace amount,” said Matthew Hynes, a chemist at Chemir who conducted the test.
“We do not make our products with sodium lauryl sulfate,” saidKevin Ewell, the company’s research and development manager.
While Honest has trumpeted its lack of SLS as a way to distinguish its products as safer than rivals’, there has long been debate about whether SLS is harmful. In its pure form SLS can cause skin rashes, but many consumer products companies including P&G,Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Seventh Generation Inc. have vouched for its safety when used in their products. SLS is widely used in part because it is inexpensive and creates a foamy lather as it cleans. It is also sometimes used in pill coatings to help medicine dissolve after being swallowed.
sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
SLS is an irritant, and the irritant property is higher at greater concentrations. Additionally, the longer SLS is in contact with the skin, the more likely it is to irritate. Hence, the alert warned that SLS is safe for brief use after which it is rinsed away, as used in the shower or when brushing teeth. In products which remain on the skin for prolonged periods of time, such as moisturiser and cosmetics, SLS concentrations should not exceed 1%.
sodium lauryl sulfate was not carcinogenic in dogs. NICNAS also found that even at high doses, sodium lauryl sulfate had no effect on fertility or development