Toxic Timeout: Babassuamidopropalkonium Chloride

WHAT IS IT? Babassuamidopropalkonium Chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt, found in body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, bubble bath and body lotions. Derived from Babassu Oil – a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm found in the Amazon region of South America – Babassuamidopropalkonium Chloride is used in many ways, as a surfactant, conditioning agent and fabric softener and also has anti-static properties.

HEALTH RISK: This chemical is not only is created by a non-environmentally friendly process, but it also poses a pretty serious health risk. As we have mentioned in the past, quaternary ammonium compounds can cause toxic effects by all routes of exposure: inhalation, ingestion, dermal application and irrigation of body cavities. Concentrated solutions of QUATS are corrosive and can cause burns to the skin and the mucous membranes. They can produce systemic toxicity due to their curare-like properties and can also cause allergic reactions. Other risks may include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anxiety, restlessness, coma, convulsions, hypotension, cyanosis and apnoea to name a few. A number of companies use this chemical in their products – primarily in hair conditioners. Whilst it may make your hair ‘feel’ soft, it does not exactly have any natural nourishing qualities.

Healthy Alternative: A safer and more natural alternative for hair is pure coconut oil. It will make your hair feel soft and stay soft! Pure lavender oil can be used as a substitute for hand cream. Dr. Bronner Lavender Styling Creme
also make great conditioning agents.

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