Tide’s “Free and Gentle” laundry detergent claims to be “gentle on the skin” because it’s free of dyes and perfumes. Ads for the detergent target parents and feature pictures of small children. But a recent report exposed high levels of a cancer-causing chemical in Tide “Free and Gentle” detergent: 1,4-dioxane.
Babies and young children are still developing, making them especially vulnerable to harmful chemicals, including chemicals like 1,4-dioxane. Procter & Gamble, Tide’s parent company, aggressively promotes this detergent as safe, specifically targeting parents with young families in its advertising campaigns — even using a photo of a young child on its website.
In 2009, consumer outrage over even smaller amounts of 1,4-dioxane in Herbal Essences shampoo caused Tide’s parent company, Procter & Gamble to pull the chemical from the entire shampoo line. With enough public pressure, Tide’s “Free and Gentle” detergent can be free of cancer-causing ingredients, too.
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