The cells in our bodies are made up of protein. It is important that these cells continuously rejuvenate in order to replace older, damaged cells, with healthy new ones. Every cell in our body is replaced at least once every 7 years. SLS, or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, affects the bodies proteins by forming a bridge between the fat soluble and water soluble parts of the protein molecule. This disrupts the forces needed to maintain the protein structure, and the molecule collapses, becoming useless. The result of this disruption is that the body has to go into overdrive to try to heal this, and new proteins are being damaged in the developmental stage because they don’t have time to fully construct. This is exactly the same activity that can lead to the early stages of skin cancer.
By denaturing protein in our bodies as well as mimicking oestrogen effects, SLS also creates the potential to cause other cancers. It is known that high levels of oestrogen can cause breast and ovarian cancer, and in fact, cancer cells actually secrete their own oestrogen, which makes the tumor grow larger. This creates a huge potential for SLS to not only cause cancer, but to worsen it as well. Breast cancer cases have increased tremendously in just the past 50 years, which ironically, is about the same time that SLS products were introduced to the mainstream commercial products for their foaming qualities.
The combination of SLS and nitrogen bearing ingredients (most shampoos contain nitrate compounds) makes for a highly cancerous formulation. According to studies done on these formulations, evidence suggests that a single shampooing can generate more cancer causing nitrates than a pound of bacon! Whether by these means or not, SLS is a known mutagen, and is absolutely capable of damaging the genetic material found in every cell in your body, and has been strongly linked to cancer.
Although it’s virtually impossible to avoid carcinogens in our atmosphere, SLS is very avoidable, and yet they are the most widely used chemical in daily products such as creams, shampoos, household products, and toothpaste.