Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Sodium lauryl sulfate
Identification Number: CASRN | 151-21-3

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Has known Side Effects

    This is often the result of long or short term medication use. The same medication can have a range of side effects ranging from none at all to totally debilitating symptoms within different individuals. Reasons for this include individual genetics, individual detoxification capacity, nutrition status, duration of use and total number of medications being taken.


    It becomes very difficult to establish clear causes of symptoms when multiple medications are being taken at once.


    See SIDE EFFECTS LINKOUT at end of this profile.


  • CATEGORIES: Chemical used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Medication or Drug | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | Plant Toxin | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Food Use Permitted | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Organic Acids and Derivatives | Organic Sulfuric Acids and Derivatives | Sulfuric Acid Esters | Sulfuric Acid Monoesters
  • SYNONYMS: Anticerumen | Emal 10 | Empicol | Genapol LSS | Irium | Laurylsiran sodny | NaDS | Natrium laurylsulfuricum | SDS | SLS | Sodium dodecyl sulfate | Sodium dodecyl sulphate | Sodium dodecylsulfate | Sodium laurilsulfate | Sodium lauryl sulfic acid | Sodium lauryl sulphate | Sodium lauryl sulphic acid
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Surfactant | Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an anionic surfactant used in many cleaning and hygiene products. It is naturally derived from coconut and/or palm kernel oil. It usually consisting of a mixture of sodium alkyl sulfates, mainly the lauryl. SLS lowers surface tension of aqueous solutions and is used as fat emulsifier, wetting agent, and detergent in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and toothpastes. It is also used in creams and pastes to properly disperse the ingredients and as research tool in protein biochemistry. SLS also has some microbicidal activity. The molecule has a tail of 12 carbon atoms, attached to a sulfate group, giving the molecule the amphiphilic properties required of a detergent. SLS is a highly effective surfactant used in any task requiring the removal of oily stains and residues. As such the compound is found in high concentrations in industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. In household products, SLS is used in lower concentrations with toothpastes, shampoos, and shaving foams. It is an important component in bubble bath formulations for its thickening effect and its ability to create a lather. SLS may irritate the skin and eyes. (L1898)
  • COMMENTS: From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: | | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C12H25NaO4S
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | FracFocus | EPA in USA | EAFUS | DPR | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) | Drugbank | USA FDA APPROVED DRUG PRODUCTS
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as canker sores when used in toothpasete. (L1898)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as canker sores when used in toothpasete. SLS may also react to produce nitrosamines, which are believed to be carcinogenic. (L1890, L1898) | Nitrosamines can enter the body via ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact. Once in the body, nitrosamines are metabolized by cytochrome P-450 enzymes, which essentially activates them into carcinogens. (A2878, A2879)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: While sodium lauryl sulfate itself is not toxic, it is a nitrosating agent. Nitrosating agents may decompose and/or react to cause nitrosamine contamination. Nitrosamines are produced from secondary amines and amides in the presence of nitrite ions and are believed to be carcinogenic. Once in the body, nitrosamines are activated by cytochrome P-450 enzymes. They are then believed to induce their carcinogenic effects by forming DNA adducts at the N- and O-atoms. (L1889, L1890, A2878, A2879, A2880) | Sodium lauryl sulfate is a nitrosating agent and may decompose and/or react to cause nitrosamine contamination. Nitrosamines are believed to induce carcinogenic effects by forming DNA adducts at the N- and O-atoms. (L1890, A2880)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: SLS is a highly effective surfactant used in any task requiring the removal of oily stains and residues. As such the compound is found in high concentrations in industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. In household products, SLS is used in lower concentrations with toothpastes, shampoos, and shaving foams. It is an important component in bubble bath formulations for its thickening effect and its ability to create a lather. SLS may irritate the skin and eyes. (L1898)
  • SEE MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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