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What Is Sodium Laureth Sulfate...
And why are people saying those awful things about it?
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Questions and Answers

Dateline: 09/09/98
(Latest update: 04/08/01)

By David Emery

A dire health warning circulating by email since 1998 claims that sodium laureth sulfate, a synthetic chemical found in brand-name shampoos and other personal care products, causes cancer.

As is typical of such warnings, the message is unsigned and cites no references to support its claims.

As also commonly happens with chain letters, this one has picked up false "signatures" after the fact. Such is usually the result of someone with an authoritative-sounding title forwarding the message with their .sig file attached, which is left intact by later forwarders and eventually becomes a permanent part of the text.

As near as I can determine, the name "Michelle Hailey" first began appearing on a version of this message in September 1998, approximately two months after the original (unsigned) version was first sighted. The "signed" version quickly surpassed the original in popularity, but Hailey denied authoring the email in an Oct. 20, 1998 article in the Daily Tennessean.

"This is not a chain letter," the message declares, but in fact it is one. As you shall see, its purpose is not to inform, but to frighten:

Importance: High

Check the ingredients listed on your shampoo bottle, and see if they have this substance by the name of Sodium Laureth Sulfate or simply SLS.

This substance is found in most shampoo, the manufactures use it because it produces a lot of foam and it is cheap. BUT the fact is that SLS is used to scrub garage floors, and it is very strong.

It is also proven that it can cause cancer in the long run, and this is no joke. Well, I went home and check my shampoo (Vidal Sasoon), it hasn't got it, but others such as Vo5, Palmolive etc..they've got this substance, so I've called up to one of the company (u must think I had nothing better to do, no, I am just concerned about our health) well, I told them their product contains a substance that will cause people to have cancer, and u know what they said, they said "Yeah.we knew about it but there is nothing we can do about it coz we need that substance to produce foam, oh, by the way the Colgate toothpaste also contains the same substance to produce the bubbles". Oh my God, I've been using the Colgate since when I was born, what the world is that, are we going to die very soon. They said they are going to send me some info.

Research have shown that in the 1980s, the chance of getting cancer is 1 out of 8000 and now in the 1990s, the chances of getting cancer is 1 out of 3 which is very serious. So I hope that you will take this seriousness and pass on this to all the people you know, and hopefully, we can stop "giving" ourselves the cancer virus.

This is serious, after you have read this, pass it on to as many people as possible, this is not a chain letter, but it concerns our health.

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