Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's with the formalin?

another topic i've always thought about blogging about, but never came down to it... FORMALDEHYDE.

during one of those toilet moments (erm... the long calls) where there's nothing else to read but the labels on toiletry products, i found that the Sunsilk conditioners had formaldehyde in them... i had a few varieties around... and they all had formaldehyde in them! if i'm not mistaken, formaldehyde, when added to water will form formalin. formalin is carcinogenic as it permeates the skin and goes into your cells, wreaking havoc in there.

fuelled by inquisition, i started perusing other bottles and tubes of soaps, lotions and potions in my bathroom... and discovered that the Dove shampoo (or was it conditioner... this was quite awhile back) also had formaldehyde in it. then i looked at a box of toothpaste which came as a free gift with one of the Sunsilk products. and shockingly, formaldehyde was also listed as one of the ingredients!!! toothpaste... which you put in your mouth!

admittedly, formaldehyde was not the first few ingredients listed on these products... so the content may be minute... but the fact remains that the manufacturers added formaldehyde to these products! and another thing i'd noticed was that all these products were from Unilever... coincidence or on purpose? i have no comment on that...

what is the rationale of adding formaldehyde to conditioners and toothpaste? when other brands do not add this substance to equivalent products... perhaps someday i'll meet someone with a background in chemistry who could tell me what role formaldehyde plays in fomulating hair conditioners and toothpastes... for now, the only thing i can think of is that formaldehyde has some preservative properties and so it could probably play a part in enhancing your hair... of course, as a disclaimer, this "theory" may be utterly wrong, as there is no strong basis (of my knowledge) to it.

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