Firmitas

Commonplace Chemicals and Their Health Effects

Revision 39
© 2005-2018 by Zack Smith. All rights reserved.

Introduction

This page is an information repository for the kind of information that large chemical companies generally do not want you to know. It's essentially a page of my notes. I provide it in the hope that it will be useful to people other than myself.

I finally grew tired of only seeing sporadic references to the toxic or otherwise unpleasant effects of various chemicals that are in our food, soil, air, beds, lotions, shampoos, carpets, cars, et cetera ad infinitum. I decided to consolidate all of the information that I was searching for and finding in one place.

Note: I don't guarantee any information herein for any purpose, and I suggest that you always do your own research.

Terms & Acronyms

Emulsifier:
a substance (for example, lecithin, also soap) that is soluable in both water and oil, and which is consequently used to combine the two.
CNS
central nervous system
PEG
polyethylene glycol
MSG
monosodium glutamate
glutamate
neurotransmitter that if consumed in food serves as a neurotoxin

Contents

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The List

A

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
1,3-diphenylpropane ? sol-gel ? ?
4-methylimidazole 4-MEI byproduct caramel color carcinogen
Acacia gum E414; gum arabic coating food ? ?
Acesulfame potassium sweetener drinks ? ?
Acridine dyes experimental treatment for herpesvirus medication mutagen frameshift; potent carcinogen ? ?
Acrylamide byproduct? soaps neurotoxicity; genotoxicity; carcinogenicity; reproductive toxicity ?
Aflatoxin strong carcinogen contaminant peanut butter; peanuts; corn; cottonseed cancer produced by fungus Aspergillus flavis
Ammonium xylenesulfonate thickener; improves water solubility shampoo ? ?
Antimony trihydride ? Possibly from PVC Possibly causes SIDS sudden infant death syndrome ?
Asbestos insulator homes; vehicle brakes asbestosis; mesothelioma serpentine & other ultramafic rocks
Aspartame Nutrasweet sweetener foods; drinks cancer ?
A-Terpineol ? ? causes respiratory problems; including fatal edema; causes central nervous system damage ? ?
Azodicarbonamide flour; jar closure technology ? degrades to semicarbazide which causes DNA damage in mice ?

B

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Bacitracin topical antibiotic ? contact dermatitis ?
Benzalkonium Chloride antibiotic moist-wipes; cosmetics highly toxic; mutagenic; reproductive damage; kidney damage; corrosive ?
Benzene C6H6 ? found in Coca-Cola and other soft drinks carcinogen ?
Benzopyrene toxin found in smoke & soot mutagen frameshift; potent carcinogen ? ?
Benzyl acetate ? ? linked to pancreatic cancer ? ?
Benzyl alcohol ? ? upper respiratory tract irritant ? ?
BHA preservative food carginogen ? ?
Bisphenol A ? food-grade plastics leaches into food to damage brain; disrupts hormones; may be carcinogen petroleum?
Boric acid insecticide mattresses; eye washes damages testes; can cause death ?
Butylparaben preservative soaps irritates skin; affects male reproductive system; paraben is an estrogen mimic ?

C

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
C8 used to manufacture Teflon Teflon pans; clothing causes birth defects ? ?
Calcium bicarbonate ? ? ? calcium carbonate reacting with carbonic acid CO2<sub> ?
Calcium carbonate AKA calcite abrasive toothpaste ? limestone ?
Calcium iodate ? chicken feed ? ? ?
Calcium pantothenate form of Vitamin B5 chicken feed ? ? ?
Camphor ? ? causes central nervous system disorders ? ?
Carrageenan thickener toothpaste contains MSG seaweed ?
Choline chloride growth accelerator chicken feed ? ? ?
Chloroform ? ? neurotoxin; anesthetic and carcinogenic ? ?
Cobalt chloride ? antiperspirants; hair dyes; buttons; tools contact dermatitis ?
Cocamide DEA foaming agent lather shampoo ? ?
Cocamidopropyl betaine detergent soaps irritates skin and eyes; penetration enhancer; can be contaminated with diethanolamine indirectly causes cancer ? ?
Copper oxide ? chicken feed ? ore? ?
Coumarin flavoring Mexican synthetic vanilla toxic to the liver Tonka tree

D

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Diactyl-TarTaric Acid Esters of Monoglyceride DATEM emulsifier; volume enhancer dough e.g. Panera bagels ? ? ?
Diethanolamine DEA ? bubble baths; shampoos; soaps; facial cleansers hormone disrupter; liver and kidney cancer; forms carcinogens ? ?
Difethialone ? ? ? ? ?
Dioxin pesticide ? carcinogen; damages skin ? ?
Deltamethrin ? ? ? ? ?
Dicalcium phosphate AKA monohydrogen phosphate dietary supplement cereal; flour; noodles; chicken feed ? ? ?

E

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Ethidium bromide For staining DNA In biology lab mutagen damages DNA; carcinogen ?
Ethoxyquin preservative in pet foods e.g. chicken feed possibly harmful when ingested; touched; etc. ?
Ethyl acetate ? ? A narcotic on the EPAs Hazardous Waste list ? ?
Ethylene fruit ripening repressed in Flavr Savr tomato ? naturally produced in fruit; also produced by burning gas
Ethylene glycol decreases freezing point of liquids automotive antifreeze neurological effects; multiple organ failure; death. hydrocarbons.

F

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Ferrous carbonate siderite ? chicken feed ? ? ?
FGD gypsum ? agricultural fields; drywall contains mercury arsenic lead Coal power plant scrubber waste ?
Fluoride ? water supply; toothpaste fluorosis; fluoride is an enzyme poison: meaning it obstructs the metabolism of your cells; neurotoxin Industrial waste ?
Formaldehyde AKA formalin preservative foam bedding; upolstery; car seats; cosmetics; shampoos; preservation of dead animals and human cadavers carcinogen; contact dermititis ?
Fructose natural sweetener fruit ; processed foods not metabolized properly unless eaten with fiber e.g. in whole fruits like oranges and apples fruit

G

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Gelatin food additive candy; mousse; Frappucinos; Jello potential Mad Cow risk animal skin, cartilage and/or bones boiled in vats with acid
Glycerin moistener toothpaste; soap ? veggie oils ?
Glycerol sweetener food mild dieuretic; possibly dangerous for diabetics ?
Glycerol stearate; Glycerol monostearate; Glyceryl monostearate; Monostearin; Glyceryl stearate emulsifier many uses; e.g. shampoo reproductive cancer risk ?
Guar gum thickener food; cosmetics ? legume Cyamopsis tetragonolobus

H

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Hexane solvent for extraction of oils traces found in oils e.g. soya; which end up in foods; skin products neurotoxin ? ?
High-Fructose Corn Syrup sweetener; masks bad flavors most processed foods accelerates neolipogenesis i.e. storage of fats into adipose tissues; accelerates atherosclerosis; boosts pancreatic tumor growth corn

I

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Isopropyl alcohol ? ? ? petroleum ?

J

K

L

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Lecithin emulsifier; also replacement for cocoa butter ? usually contains MSG soy etc.
Limonene ? ? carcinogen ? ?
Linalool ? ? a narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders ? ?
Locust Bean Gum; Carob Bean Gum thickener ? abdominal pain and diarrhoea ?

M

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Magnesium Tallowate cleaning agent soap unknown ?
Manganous oxide ? chicken feed ? ore? ?
Menadione Diemethylpyrimidinol bisulfate ? chicken feed ? ? ?
Mercury lighting; gold sequestering laptop computer displays; compact fluorescent bulbs attacks the brain naturally occurring element
Methanol ? fuels denaturer possible carcinogen; CNS depressant; causes acidosis; gets converted to formaldehyde ? ?
Methionine supplement nutrient amino acid chicken feed ? ?
Methylisothiazolinone biocide kills parasites shampoo; lotions; cosmetics; industrial settings; paints contact burns; dermititis; allergic sensitization; if taken orally it enters brain and spinal cord: kills brain cells ?
Methylparaben preservative soaps irritates skin; affective male reproductive system; paraben is an estrogen mimic ?
Modified food starch thickener; also sweetener when it refers to MSG food FDA says any chemicals used to modify the starch do not need to be reported to consumer! ? ?
Monocalcium Phosphate leavening agent in bread bread; chicken feed ? ?
Monoethanolamine MEA ? bubble baths; shampoos; soaps; facial cleansers hormone disrupter; liver and kidney cancer; forms carcinogens ? ?
Monosodium glutamate MSG sweetener Chinese take out; other foods neurotoxin ? ?

N

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Nicarbazin antibiotic fed to chickens ? ?
Nitrous acid HNO2 ? ? mutagen damages DNA; carcinogen ?
Neomycin sulfate topical antibiotic ? contact dermatitis ?

O

P

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Paraffinum liquidum lubricant emollient soaps dry skin; penetration enhancer; can be contaminated with PAHs polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are linked to breast cancer ? ?
Parfum fragrance soaps potentially some of: hormone disruption; toxic to liver; neurotoxin; causes asthma; headaches; depression; mood swings; etc ? ?
Pectin gelling/thickening agent; demulcent food; throat lozenges ? fruits it is in the cell wall
PEG-5 cocamide emulsifier; foam stabilizer; surfactant shampoo ? ? ?
PEG-14 M sorbitan laurate thickener solvent; emulsifier; surfacant soaps unsafe for use on damaged skin; penetration enhancer; irritates skin; can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide which are linked to breast cancer ? ?
PEG-80 thickener solvent; emulsifier; surfacant soaps penetration enhancer; irritates skin; can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide which are linked to breast cancer ? ?
PEG-150 distearate thickener solvent; emulsifier; surfacant soaps penetration enhancer; irritates skin; can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide which are linked to breast cancer ? ?
PEG-300 surfactant ? skin irritation; probably harmful to kidney+liver if ingested ?
Pentane ? ? narcosis; irritation ?
Polyglycerol polyricinoleate PGPR; also known as E476 emulsifier; replacement for cocoa butter choclate & other candies link to hyperactivity in children; concern that it might change offspring sex ratio; I am not finding much research possibly derived from animals
Polypropylene terephthalate forms film; type of polyester providing feeling of smoothness soaps carcinogen linked to pancreatic cancer; contains phthalate which mimics estrogen and is linked to breast cancer ? ?
Polyquarternium-7 forms film on skin making it seem soft soaps contact dermatitis; formaldehyde releaser; can be contaminated with acrylamide which is a CNS toxin ? ?
Potassium benzoate preservative drinks e.g. soda in presence of Vitamin C and heat this chemical form the carcinogen benzene ?
Potassium phosphate E340 ? food hypocalcaemia ?
Propylparaben preservative soaps irritates skin; affects male reproductive system; paraben is an estrogen mimic ?

Q

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Quaternium-15 formaldehyde-releasing agent preservative cosmetics; toiletry; skin moisturizers; hair products allergies; dermatitis; breaks down to formaldehyde ?

R

S

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Saccharin sweetener drinks e.g. soda; also sold by itself not metabolized; inhibits uptake of vitamin biotin ?
Sodium benzoate preservative drinks e.g. soda in presence of Vitamin C and heat this chemical forms carcinogen benzene ?
Sodium bicarbonate leavening agent; freshness; antacid foods; toothpaste ? from earth but purified ?
Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate detergent/booster; co-surfactant shampoo ? oleochemical or petrochemical ?
Sodium hydroxide AKA lye pH acidity adjuster soaps irritates skin & eyes; can burn. ? ?
Sodium laurel sulfate SLS dispersant; detergent association colloid toothpaste; soaps dry skin; irritates eyes; penetration enhancer; can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which causes breast cancer coconut oil ?
Sodium monofluorophosphate tooth decay prevention toothpaste e.g. Toms ? fluorospar ore calcium fluoride ?
Sodium phosphate E339 ? food hypocalcaemia ?
Sodium selenite ? chicken feed toxic? ? ?
Sodium stearate Cleaning agent in soap association colloid soap ? ? ?
Sucralose Splenda sweetener foods; also sold by itself enlarged liver & kidneys chlorination of sucrose

T

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
TBHQ tertiary- butyl-hydroquinone antioxidant to prevent oxidation of frying oil food candy and fast food toxic to kidney & bladder; causes ataxia in rats; may cause child behavioral problems petroleum -- TBHQ is a form of butane
Tetrasodium EDTA preservative soaps irritates eyes and skin; contact dermatitis; contact allergies; penetration enhancer ? ?
Tetrasodium Etidronate water softener soaps ? ? ?
Thrombin meat glue composite meat products ? ?
Triclosan antibacterial; pesticide detergents; dish-washing liquids; soaps; deodorants; cosmetics; lotions; anti-microbial creams; various toothpastes; in various plastics and textiles. toxic to aquatic life; carcinogen; breaks down into dioxin petrochemicals? CBC Marketplace USA (in soaps)
Triethanolamine TEA ? bubble baths; shampoos; soaps; facial cleansers hormone disrupter; liver and kidney cancer; forms carcinogens ? ?

U

V

W

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
White mineral oil ? Jujyfruits candy carcinogen same as mineral oil petroleum

X

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Xanthan Gum E415 thickener; prevents sedimentation; mouth feel food e.g. ice cream ? bacterium
Xylitol flavor; sweetener; antibiotic toothpaste may be toxic to dogs birch trees

Y

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Yellow dye #6 coloring food kidney & adrenal gland tumors in rats ?

Z

Chemical Used for Used in Health effects Derived from Links Where banned
Zinc oxide zincite ? chicken feed ? ? ?
Zinc Pyrithione ? anti-dandruff shampoo kills skin cells ?