The Household Products Database

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Other Multi-Syllable Mysteries in Your Toothpaste

We have all noticed those difficult-to-pronounce ingredients listed on most, if not all, of our common household product labels. Many of us have even gone to great lengths to mine authoritative information online regarding chemical ingredients only to retrieve hundreds of thousands of hits oriented towards either marketing or urban legend.

So, next time you dare to perform a Google search on “Carbomer 956”, a substance commonly found in tootpaste, think Household Products Database insead. Here’s an example of how it works.

  1. Go to the Household Products Database website at the URL listed above.
  2. Assume you are investigating ingredients found in different brands of toothpaste.
  3. Click on the “Products” tab at the top.
  4. Click “Search” on the submenu of  the products tab.
  5. Click the second radio button to search as “Type of Product“.
  6. Type the word “Toothpaste” in the empty textbox.
  7. Highlight “Personal Care/Use” on the dropdown menu.
  8. Click the “Search” button.
  9. Search results will display listing brands included in this database.
  10. Click Aquafresh All Tartar Control Toothpaste, at the top of the list.
  11. Notice you have retrieved information about the brand, manufacturer, health effects, handling/disposal, plus a complete ingredients list on the product label.
  12. Scroll down the table to the “Ingredients” list.
  13. Click “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)“.
  14. Notice you have retrieved information about SLS as well as a list of other brands containing SLS.
  15. You’ll want to mouse-over the content in these table to discover links to further information; the hyperlinks are not obviously color-coded or underlined.

Perform similar searches under Ingredient to discover which products contain them.

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