Herbal Essences Shampoo - Flowers, Herbs, and Carcinogens?
Proctor and Gamble (P&G) has long marketed its fresh-smelling Herbal Essences shampoo as being a delightful blend of natural flower and herb essences. The Green Patriot Working Group (GPWG), however, identified high levels of a far less desirable material called 1,4 - dioxane, a carcinogen.
1,4-Dioxane, commonly referred to as dioxane, is used in the manufacturing process to reduce the inherent harshness of the cleaning agents in the shampoo. Under California’s Proposition 65, the level of dioxane in Herbal Essences shampoo was high enough to be considered a health hazard. High enough, in fact, that the product should have been carrying warning labels.
Fortunately, P&G had already instituted research and manufacturing changes to reduce the levels of dioxane in the Herbal Essences products at the time GPWG planned legal action. P&G’s efforts mirror other companies' proactive approaches in response to the 2010 State of Green Business Report. The company says that consumers can be assured that the new Herbal Essences products will be ‘green’ in more than product color.
But can we really rely on the company's promise? After a long line of toxic product revelations, it's sad to say that it's hard to know who to trust these days.