What Are the Dangers of Sodium Laureth Sulfate?

Sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, abbreviated as SLS, is a detergent commonly used in personal hygiene products, to act as a foaming agent and emulsifier, states Chemical Land 21. At high concentrations and long exposure times, SLS acts as a skin irritant, warns International Journal of Toxicology.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, as safe for human consumption when added to foods at levels up to 125 parts per million. A widely-circulated Internet hoax claims that SLS is carcinogenic; however, no scientific evidence supports the validity of this claim, according to Snopes.com and LEDA at Harvard Law School.