Toxic Chemicals from Shampoo, Soap may Be Seeping into Drinking Water

by Medindia Content Team on Dec 17 2007 8:03 PM

They may leave you feeling clean and refreshed, but it seems that all that chemicals in body wash, shampoo and soap you use may be seeping into your drinking water.

The caution has come after a report revealed that chemicals from consumer products such as shampoos, perfumes and drugs could be breaking down and recombining into a harmful cocktail in water supplies.

The report by the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) revealed that synthetic chemicals from these consumer products and other healthcare products that are washed down the drain are sneaking through the filters at water purification plants.

The list includes phthalates, a family of some 120 chemicals linked to reproductive problems in men and wildlife, and parabens, a preservative with a suspected link to breast cancer.

Jeff Hardy from the RSC said that although concentrations of such chemicals in water are probably too less to be harmful, the effects of their breakdown products are poorly understood.

"We do not know if the breakdown products affect the health of people," New Scientist quoted him, as saying. 

He added that the cocktail effect might also make these chemicals more harmful.