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DMDM, PPG, & Tetrasodium EDTA

Why is there so much bad press on these ingredients? Is there any truth to the carcinogen rumours or have they been made victims and taken out of context yet again? I find myself avoiding hair products with these, and they seem to be in everything! What do they bring to hair styling creams, etc Are there alternatives?
Sorry for so many questions all at once. Willing to wait as long as you need to give me a response! Any suggestions welcomed!


  • We'll try to keep you posted on the latest toxicology information on which ingredients really may pose a danger. So far the ingredients you mentioned are still considered safe for use in cosmetics at typical use levels. 
  • There are a few reasons for the bad press on those (and many other) ingredients.

    1.  Scare stories sell - It's more interesting to tell a story about dangers lurking in your bathroom than to tell everyone that everything is perfectly safe.  Think about it yourself.  Which story headline is more compelling "Baby Shampoos contain carcinogens"  or  "Baby Shampoos are safe" ?  Both of these headlines could be true since it is the dose that makes something dangerous, not the material itself.  And people love to share scare stories over the Internet much more than they will share "everything is perfectly fine" stories.

    2.  Marketers are trying to stand out - It's difficult to compete in the cosmetic industry and extremely difficult to set yourself apart from the competition.  Sadly, one of the ways that companies do this is by implying that their products are "safer" than the competition.  When you see someone advertise that their products are "paraben free" they are making the implied claim that parabens are somehow dangerous.  They aren't dangerous.  

    3.  NGOs are trying to raise money - Groups like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or the EWG generate money in the form of donations by scaring people and telling them half truths about cosmetic ingredients.  These groups don't actually want to solve the problem that they claim exists because if they did, they would put themselves out of business.  

    As @RandyS said, the ingredients you mentioned have been demonstrated to be safe for use in cosmetics at the levels they are used.  There is no reason for you to avoid them.
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