Should aloe vera be banned?

PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
There are many people who believe that we should follow the Precautionary Principle when it comes to ingredients in cosmetics (or most anything else). 


So I wonder, would they call for a ban on Aloe Vera since there is "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of aloe vera"?

It may actually happen that Aloe gets listed as a carcinogen on California's Prop 65.

Comments

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Wow - this is going to be a dilemma for the "natural is always safe and better" crowd.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • But that's taken internally, and not a study on humans.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    True, but there have been a number of cosmetic raw materials banned, or effectively banned, just from a hint that they might be carcinogenic in any way. It will be interesting to see what happens here.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • I don't see a clear link of aloe vera carcinogenicity to humans in this article and there are also a lot of articles who suggest the opposite

  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Our point is that there have been a number of ingredients that are not available for use in cosmetics any longer due SOLELY to data from mice. In some of those cases there has been  explicit evidence that the material does not cause cancer to humans - but the materials were banned/forced off the market anyway. In fact, in one of those incidents, the material in question was actually a component of human skin - but mouse carcinogenicity was enough to both drive it out of cosmetics and off the market, and also to prompt many lawsuits against manufacturers that were using it. I believe some companies even instituted voluntary product recalls.

    So, the interesting part is going to be watching if there is the same sort of witch-hunt and media frenzy about an ingredient that is universally beloved by the "natural is always and forever better" crowd. 
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    Thanks for sharing.

    It doesn't take much more than a single study and/or some misinterpretation of a study to get something on the "bad" list.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Precautionary Principle would call for a ban until it is "proven" harmless.
  • ZinkZink Member
    Ah, the end of Aloe Vera Water is near. 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited April 2015
    @bobzchemist chances are the "natural is always safe and better" crowd would ignore it and sweep it under the rug, as it flies in the face of their ideology

    for instance: there are 30+ naturally occurring plants and fungi on the EU banned list, all for very good reasons (toxic and/or pharmaceutical), yet most of the people who preach that message in Europe are either blissfully unaware of this or choose to ignore it!
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    @Bill_Toge, you're probably right - but this time I have more ammunition to call them on their hypocrisy. Also, the California Prop. 65 regulations are rigid and inflexible - there is likely no way to avoid any aloe-containing product eventually having to carry a Prop 65 warning.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • I'm a natural chemist and not a creeper hippie so to turn the conversation towards business. Aloe is sold preserved for the conventional market and unpreserved for the USDA market. I am USDA and shipping, cold storage, and RM reject due to mold and overall re-sanitization and preservation of Aloe is costly and difficult to be brief. Do my customers understand or pay more for this? No..they have no idea anything natural can be contaminated with mung or ever harm them because their education comes from crazy bloggers not concrete science. But as for being natural while at the same time a health concern...so is poison ivy..for Aloe it does carry actives through the lipid layer more efficiently than water...Depending on your formulation/preservative system perhaps this could be significant, I don't know I'm not a lawyer oops I meant chemist ..wait I am a chemist now I'm confused... But ancient cultures have been using straight aloe since Adam (insert your first modern human here) with pretty decent results so the healing attributes are pretty widely accepted and Documented globally. Would I rather formulate with water? Yeah it is cheap and I dont have to wait for a late delivery...But my customers are not looking for that (insert label ingredient marketing insisted on here)They want as natural as possible based on the information available at any given time And my job is to be on top of it and accept the information available and figure out how to compound as "cleanly" as perceived possible even if that means to get rid of my main ingredients And find a new one equally as awesome. Hippocracy be darned we all do things we think are good only to find out how bad they are later (asbestos and washing your coal dust off with benzene which by the way you cant top either); when new information is available. Don't attack the natural chemist using current information to formulate. We are no different than conventional formulators bringing new concepts into market. We don't compete our audiences are just different with different life philosophies.
  • GigglesGiggles Member
    edited May 2015

    As I understand it, the aloe under review by CA OSHA is not commercially available.
    http://www.iasc.org/pdfs/11_0427_Position_Statement_NTP_CONSUMERS.pdf

     

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Giggles - I don't think that Aloe in cosmetics represents any kind of danger to consumers.  But the position paper of "Big Aloe" sounds exactly like the kind of report that so called "toxic chemical pushers" would put out.  

    My point in posting the story here is to highlight how silly it is to use the precautionary principle to regulate chemicals and how hypocritical groups that call for it are when it comes to "natural" ingredients.  A similar thing is happening with Lavender.

    Natural does not equal safe and synthetic does not equal unsafe.

    There is just safe ingredients and unsafe ingredients.  We should have a common standard for all ingredients.
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