Environmental group: 65 of 80 household products contain 1,4-dioxane

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Environmentalists say many household products like laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash and hand soap are contaminated with a known possible carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment found the possibly toxic chemical compound in 65 of 80 common household items it tested.

Because 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct and not technically an ingredient, manufacturers are not required to put it on their labels. The chemical has been detected in drinking water wells across the island. There is also no standard for 1,4-dioxane levels in household products or drinking water.

"It's actually a very disconcerting issue that's come up," says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "It's not about just one product and one exposure. We use all these products usually on a daily basis."

Dreft, a laundry detergent for newborns, Baby Magic shampoo and Tide are listed as part of the so-called "dirty dozen," which have the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane.

The group says there are products with low or no detectable amounts of 1,4-dioxane.

There is legislation making its way through the state Legislature that would ban the 1,4-dioxane byproduct from all household items.

According to a spokesman for the American Cleaning Institute, which represents soap, detergent and cleaning supply manufacturers:

Local residents can continue to safely and effectively use soaps and fabric care products with confidence, as they do every single day. It is disappointing that this so-called guide misleads consumers about product safety. To reiterate, 1,4 dioxane is not used as a deliberately-added ingredient in consumer products. Given the extraordinarily low levels of 1,4-dioxane that might remain at trace quantities in certain materials and products, the report's misleading claims are confusing in their implication of potential risks to consumers. Many of the products studied include levels well within ranges that are considered by regulatory agencies around the globe to be safe. Even still, companies control and minimize the presence of 1,4 dioxane in their products and raw materials and routinely take necessary steps to reduce its presence to the lowest levels possible, so consumers can continue to safely use their products.

MORE: Suffolk water chief: 1,4-dioxane filters will come at ‘tremendous cost’
MORE: Environmental group: Household products contaminated with possible carcinogen

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