E-mail Exchange

Hi Readers-

I wanted to share with you an experience I recently had. After looking into the ingredients for products that were gifted to me by a very trusted friend, I noticed that some of them were concerning. I was upset, as this company is self-professed to be nontoxic and safe. So, I e-mailed them:

Dear _________,

I’ve been using your products happily for about a year, since the birth of my first baby. As I grew more involved in the non-toxic world of cleaning, beauty, and skincare products, I’ve found certain resources to use in my research. As I look to re-order your detergent and dish soap, I am noticing the inclusion of some harsh preservatives, like benzisothiazolinone, which rates a whopping 6-7 on the EWG’s Skin Deep rating, and sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate which both rate a concerning 3. 

Now unconvinced of the safety claims of this product, I am reluctant to re-purchase. I wonder why you use these ingredients, and how their use is aligned with your safe product goals? Additionally, I am curious if you are looking to replace these ingredients in the near future.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

The ambassador’s response:

 

Dear Doris,
My name is _____,  _______’s lead brand ambassador, and I would be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

First of all, I want to say it’s a pleasure to respond to a customer who has been so careful and detailed in learning about the ingredients of the products you choose to use. We love people who are passionate about the safety of the products they buy as we are about making them. Your family’s heath is top of mind to us at dapple, and we have carefully created a complete line of cleaning products that are formulated to be as pure as possible, while also being incredibly effective.

You specifically bought up preservatives, so I want to start by addressing those concerns. In order to ensure consumer product has a  reasonable shelf life (this goes for cleaning products, food, cosmetics, etc), a preservative must be used. Without preservatives, products would go bad in a matter of days, and we weighed that issue carefully in its decision about how best to formulate our products. The perservative we use is called BIT (benzisothiazolinone), and while it is related to MIT (methylisothiazolinone), it has been shown to be less harsh and less sensitizing to the skin than MIT. Many products in the green cleaning category use MIT alone or in combination with BIT, because MIT is typically a less expensive preservative option. dapple was intentional in our choice to use only BIT because of its decreased potential for skin irritation, and we only use the minimum amount necessary to ensure that our products are safely preserved (~1% concentration in most of our formulas). That is to say, we use the most sensitive preservative we possibly can, while also using the smallest amount of preservative we can without jeopardizing the safety of the product. 
In an attempt to hopefully ease your mind about this topic, I wanted you to know that our laundry detergent, dish detergents, and tub & tile spray have all been laboratory tested to be hypoallergenic, as these are the products that are most likely to come into contact with people’s or baby’s skin on a regular or prolonged basis.
I would be more than happy to send you a sample of our dish soap and our laundry detergent so that you can get a sense of just how sensitive our products are. 
Again, thank you so much for your care in choosing what is right for you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for anything else!
All the best,
_________________
I’m still not sure what to think. I so appreciate their honesty, and maybe I’m a bit disillusioned about the limits of nontoxic product engineering. It could be that we’re just not there yet, scientifically, and unless I live on a farm and make my own cheese and choose to wash my clothing with disposable Soap Nuts, I’ll have to accept the junk that comes along with the conveniences of liquid laundry detergent.
Lesson of the day: If you have a problem, communicate. The response may surprise you.

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