Return to Right to Know Page

Return to Epstein's Page

Rerelease-Press Conference, September 22, 1995, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.


Washington, D.C. -- The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) and Ralph Nader will release a "Dirty Dozen" list of consumer products used in most American homes, and manufactured by giant U.S. corporations. Brand named "Dirty Dozen" products include Ajax Cleanser®, Clairol® Nice n' Easy Haircolor and Lysol® Disinfectant.

The "Dirty Dozen" products contain a wide-range of carcinogenic and other toxic ingredients and contaminants to which most of us are exposed daily.

CPC Chairperson Samuel Epstein, M.D., and renowned scientist and toxicologist, and investigative journalist, David Steinman, compiled the "Dirty Dozen" from data on over 3,500 consumer products analyzed and ranked in their recently published The Safe Shopper's Bible. The good news is that safer alternatives are available for all the "Dirty Dozen."

Nader and CPC urged the manufacturers of the "Dirty Dozen" to reformulate their products with non-toxic alternatives. "Ironically, some "Dirty Dozen" manufacturers also market safer alternatives, "said Dr. Epstein.

"What is particularly galling about the 'Dirty Dozen,' emphasized Ralph Nader, "Is that these toxic chemicals don't have to be there. Yet these corporations continue to expose people to health hazards unnecessarily."

Current product labeling provides no warning for cancer and other chronic health risks. Food is labeled for cholesterol, but not for carcinogens. Cosmetics are labeled for major ingredients, but not for those that form carcinogens or contain carcinogenic contaminants. Except for pesticides, household products contain no information on their ingredients.

Cancer rates are skyrocketing. Currently, more than one-third of all us will develop cancer in our lifetime, and one-fourth will die from the disease. Many cancers are due to avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in the food we eat, and the cosmetics and household products we use.

"Americans have a fundamental right-to-know about hazardous chemicals in all consumer products they buy, and the cancer and other risks of those chemicals -- information that remains hidden in government and industry files," concluded Dr. Epstein. "With this knowledge, consumers can protect themselves by voting with their shopping dollars and buying safer alternatives."

The List of the "Dirty Dozen"

This list was originally released in the Cancer Prevention News, Fall 1995. More information is available in the book Safe Shoppers Bible, Politics of Cancer Revisited, Breast Cancer Prevention Program and on the web at:

Dirty Dozen

Alternative Product

1. Beef Frankfurters (Oscar Meyer Foods Corp.)

Nitrite Free Natural Hot Dogs or Tofu Franks

2. Whole Milk (Eg. Borden or Lucerne)

Skim Milk-Horizon Organic Skim Milk, Soy

Milk or others that advertise Hormone Free and

Chemical Free

3. Talcum Powder (Johnson & Johnson, Inc.)

Corn Starch – tapioca powder

    - Neways International, Inc. Products

    - Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

4. Cover Girl Replenishing Natural Finish

    Foundation Makeup (Proctor & Gamble, Inc.)

Neways International, Inc. Cosmetic Beauty Products

5. Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste

    (Proctor & Gamble, Inc.)

Neways International, Inc. Products, Ultrashine,  Radiance, Weleda

6. Alberto VO5 Conditioner (Essence of Neutral

    Henna, 1994), (Alberto-Culver USA, Inc.)

Neways International, Inc. Products

Aubrey Organics, Avalon,

Earth Preserve Hair Vitalizer (all scents)

          Earth Preserve, Inc.

7. Clairol Nice’N Easy Permanent Hair Color

(Clairol Inc.)

Igora Botanic – Logana Henna Black – Nature Kosmetik,

Natural Henna

8. Ajax Cleaner (Colgate – Palmolive, Inc.)

Neways International, Inc. household cleaning  Products

9. Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser (Reckitt &Colman)

Neways International, Inc. Products

Bon-Ami Cleansing Powder, Bon-Ami, Inc.

10. Lysol Disinfectant Spray (Reckitt & Colman)

Neways International, Inc. Products – Air Purification Systems

Freshener and Essential Oils

11. Zodiac Cat & Dog Flea Collar (Sandoz Agro)

Neways essential oils and Eliminator products

Trader Joe’s Herbal Flea Collar for Cats or


12. Ortho Weed-B-Gone Lawn Weed Killer


    Safer Pesticides, Inc.


top of page

Copyright © All rights reserved.

Telephone 310-457-5176 or 888-377-8877 | Fax 877-885-4657 | For General Information

Webmaster for Shelley R. Kramer