The Toxic Nix It List


Green Envee is dedicated to providing all natural, non-toxic products that serve specific purpose of overall wellness to the mind, body, and spirit as a whole. Our Toxic Nix It List is a roundup of ingredients that we will NEVER use in our products because they are linked to cancer, reproductive issues, organ toxicity, and or severe skin irritation.

No. 1 – Animal fats, oils, and musks:

These are commonly collected from animals like mink, emu, and sharks after the animals have been killed for their fat. The tallow and oils that are rendered from the fat is then often used in soaps, lubricants, salves, and all types of cosmetics.

No. 2 – Benzalkonium chloride:

This chemical is often used as a disinfectant and antiseptic found in moisturizers and sanitizers, though is associated with being a severe irritant to the immune, skin, and respiratory systems and can be the cause of allergic reactions.

No. 3 – Benzophenone and derivatives:

This ingredient and its derivatives are common in personal care products such as nail polishes and sunscreen as an absorber of UV light. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and have been considered a disruptor to the endocrine system.

No. 4 – Bisphenol A (BPA):

This chemical is used to harden plastic and is found in containers, bottles, and linings. BPA can act as a disruptor to normal hormonal activity, especially concerning the development of fetuses, babies, and children. Exposure to this chemical from plastic products has even been linked to possibly altering DNA.

No. 5 – Butoxyethanol:

This compound is often used as a solvent or as a fragrance additive in perfumes and hair color. It can cause severe irritation to the skin and respiratory tract, and is potentially carcinogenic.

No. 6 – BHA and BHT:

These are food and cosmetic additives used to extend the shelf life of products by preventing oxidation. However, they are likely carcinogens and when frequently consumed, they may cause liver damage.

No. 7 – Coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients:

Coal tar is a derivative of coal, which is known to be contaminated with heavy metals that are toxic to the brain. It is used in hair dye and shampoos as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent.

No. 8 – 1,4-dioxane:

This is a chemical that exists in a variety of self-care products, including shampoo, body wash, and bubble bath. It is a by-product of the manufacturing of other chemicals commonly found in toiletries and it is a known animal carcinogen, and probable human carcinogen. It is also an irritant to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Dioxane is likely to be found in products where ethoxylated ingredients are present on the label.

No. 9 – Endocrine Disruptors:

These chemicals will interfere with the endocrine system, specifically with estrogen, androgens and the thyroid hormone. These disruptions can cause various health effects including reduced fertility, birth defects, impaired immune functions, developmental disorders and various cancers. Some of the following can cause endocrine disruptions: BHA/BHT, Phthalates, Parabens, Silicones, and Anti-bacterials.

No. 10 – Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA):

This additive is found in hair products and moisturizers as a binding agent and a stabilizer. This ingredient may be toxic to organs and can cause adverse reproductive and developmental effects on the body.

No. 11 – Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA, Cocamide MEA, Diethanolamine, Cocamide DEA, Laurimide DEA, Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA, Triethanolamine TEA):

These organic compounds are found in hair dyes, cosmetics, fragrances, and cleaning solvents and used as a surfactants and pH adjuster. However, the chemical is toxic and corrosive to the skin. When exposed to humans, it is linked to causing allergies, disruptions in hormones, and inhibited fetal brain development.

No. 12 – Formaldehyde:

Although used as a preservative in cosmetics and body products, this ingredient is a known carcinogen that is also linked to a vast array of health problems including headaches, allergies, asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. It has also been found to irritate mucous membranes when inhaled, to damage the eyes, and to weaken the immune system. Formaldehyde is present where chemicals such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol) and several other preservatives are listed on the label. Green Envee does not use any of these formaldehyde-donating preservatives.

No. 13 – Hydroquinone:

This chemical is used as a skin lightener to diminish age spots and acne scars by inhibiting the production of melanin. However, when absorbed by the skin, the ingredient is linked to cancer. It is also known to cause serious skin irritations and organ toxicity.

No. 14 – Methyl cellosolve:

This ingredient is used as a fragrance and solvent in anti-aging creams, moisturizers, and serums. Though, it can be a skin irritant and a possible neurotoxin. Exposure to this chemical can cause DNA mutations that could lead to cancer.

No. 15 – Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone:

These chemical preservatives are found in antibacterial products such as shampoos, conditioners, and body washes and are known among the most common irritants, causing contact skin allergies and may even be linked to nerve damage.

No. 16 – Mercury and mercury compounds (also listed as Thimerosal):

This metallic element is used as a preservative and antiseptic in products such as ear and eye drops and mascara. It is known as a dangerous neurotoxin that can cause serious damage to normal brain functions.

No. 17 – Mineral Oil (also listed as liquid paraffin; liquid petrolatum; paraffin oil):

Mineral oil is a by-product of the petroleum distillation process that produces gasoline, and therefore it can carry the toxins found in petroleum. The oil is used in skincare products such as baby lotions, cold creams, and ointments but it can clog pores and cause dermatitis.

No. 18 – Oxybenzone:

This chemical is often found in sunscreens and moisturizers as an ultraviolet light absorber, but it is has been attributed to skin irritation and sensitivity, skin allergies, and possible hormone disruption including estrogen.

No. 19 – Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, proply- and others):

This class of preservatives prevents the growth of bacteria and mold within cosmetics, such as shampoo, cleansers, and foundation. However, parabens can disrupt the endocrine system and alter the naturally occurring hormone processes within the body. Specifically, parabens mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to play a role in triggering breast cancer.

No. 20 – Phthalates (Diethylphthalate (DEP), Dimethylphthalate (DMP), Dibutylphthalate (DBP) and others):

These chemicals plasticize ingredients within cosmetics to make them more pliable. However, when absorbed by the body, they have been linked to disrupting the endocrine and reproductive systems, even causing infertility and possible birth defects.

No. 21 – Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds):

PEGs are widely used in cosmetics such as creams and suncreens and act as a thickener and solvent. Due to the manufacturing processes of this compound, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of carcinogenic chemicals, particularly ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. These chemicals have been linked to incidences of uterine and breast cancers.

No. 22 – Resorcinol:

This chemical is commonly used as a colorant and fragrance ingredient, however it is a known skin irritant, and is toxic to the immune system. When absorbed into the body, resorcinol can disrupt organ functions, and it is even suspected to cause hormone disruption to the endocrine system.

No. 23 – Silicone (ingredients ending in –siloxane, -cone,- dimethicone or –methicone):

This man-made polymer is often used in cosmetics to soften the skin and hair. However, the chemical can disrupt the endocrine and reproductive systems. It has even been linked to infertility. Silicone also has negative effects on the environment and is known to be toxic to fish and wildlife.

No. 24 – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES):

SLS and SLES are surfactants found in shampoo, body wash, bubble baths. However, they are known to trigger allergic reactions and irritate the skin and eyes. These chemicals have even been linked to promoting genetic cell mutations such as formation of the eyes and weakened immune system. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen.

No. 25 – Synthetic Colors (F D &C Blue No.1):

Synthetic colors are commonly added to foods and cosmetics despite their health risks. They are considered contaminated with known carcinogens and can also be the cause of allergic reactions and sensitivity.

No. 26 – Synthetic fragrance/Parafum:

Synthetic fragrances are added to all types of cosmetics as an engineered scent or flavoring agent. They could potentially contain any combination of 3,000+ chemical ingredients, including chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system and alter hormones. Synthetic fragrances have also been linked to triggering allergic reactions and skin irritations, causing migraines, and even effecting normal brain activity. Because their formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets, they can remain undisclosed.

No. 27 – Toluene:

This toxic chemical is used in nail polishes and hair dye and is dangerous to the immune and central nervous system. Toluene can be inhaled or absorbed and has been linked to developmental problems such as birth defects.

No. 28 – Triclosan and Triclocarban:

This ingredient is used as a bactericide in personal care products such as soaps and toothpaste. However, applying this chemical to the skin can disrupt the endocrine system and also impact the human reproductive system by imitating estrogen. It is also known to irritate the skin and eyes. The EPA regulates triclosan as a pesticide and a toxin to aquatic environments.

Sources include: EWG Skin Deep Database, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, David Suzuki Foundation