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Tide: Take the Cancer Out!

Healthy Child
Sunday, September 14, 2022

By Margie Kelly, Communications Manager

Don’t you hate breaking bad news to a friend?

That happened to me recently when my good friend told me she had finally broken her habit of buying detergents with fragrance. She knew phthalates, chemicals that made products fragrant, were unhealthy for her family.

“Way to go! That’s a hard habit to break,” I told her. And then I asked which product she now used. Her answer? “Tide Free & Gentle.”

What a bummer. I had to let her know that while Tide Free & Gentle is indeed fragrance free, it is not a safer option for families because it contains a cancer-causing chemical, 1,4-dioxane.

Why would laundry detergent have a cancer-causing chemical in it anyway? Especially one that is marketed to new moms as being a better choice for their babies?

No shopper could know that 1,4-dioxane is in Tide Free & Gentle because it doesn’t appear on the product label or even the product’s website. That’s because 1,4-dioxane is not deliberately added to the product, but appears as a result of the a process when other chemicals are used to made suds, including PEG and sodium lauryl sulfate, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  

It wouldn’t be impossible for Tide to eliminate 1,4-dioxane from products. Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) reformulated its Herbal Essences® shampoo in 2010 to strip out 1,4-dioxane. Tide Free & Gentle® contains three times the amount of this cancer-causing chemical. Johnson & Johnson, another massive consumer products company, announced in July that is stripping 1,4-dioxane from all of its products worldwide. There’s no reason that Procter & Gamble can’t do the same.

What’s Tide’s response  to calls to get 1,4-dioxane out of its best-selling detergent? They don’t seem to care. “We are many, many levels of magnitude below the levels that are considered any level of safety risk,” Tim Long, a Procter & Gamble toxologist.

Apparently Mr. Long doesn’t realize that no one willingly adds cancer-causing chemicals to their baby’s laundry.

Let’s raise our voices together to get the cancer-caushing chemicals out of Tide Free & Gentle.

1. Please share the graphic of Tide’s toxic laundry detergent on Facebook and Twitter. You can grab the image at our campaign partner Women’s Voices for the Earth’s Facebook page.

2. Sign the petition to Tide started by Lori Alper, mom blogger at Groovy Green Livin’ and a Healthy Child Healthy World Parent Ambassador. Lori has nearly 78,000 signatures – let’s make it 100,000!

3. If you’re interested greening your laundry routine, check out these tips on Healthy Child Healthy World’s website.

Will you tell Tide to get the cancer-causing chemical out of its laundry detergent?

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