One of our new soapnut users asked a question about whether the surfactants in soapnuts affect amphibian skin, I was sure it didn’t but needed some science to back it up…and I found some 🙂
How do synthetic surfactants kill frogs?
Synthetic surfactants and all the other harmful chemicals in normal laundry detergent are really destructive to natural aquasystems and can cause eutrophication. Now there is also some awareness of certain chemical / synthetic surfactants actually doing more than just causing an overgrowth of algae. Some chemical surfactants have been shown to actually break down the abdominal skin of frogs. The list of these surfactants are (worst ones at the top):
cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)
sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
sodium—linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS, C12)
sodium alkylethoxy sulfate (Neodol 25-3EOS, AES)
nonionic Neodol 25-7EO
What’s the alternative?
They are actually linked to naturally occuring sugars like natural glucose and fructose. So there you go, soapnut saponins are a little bit like soapy sugar…but please don’t eat it! Now go and buy some and help save the frogs!
For some other ideas on how to save the frogs visit www.savethefrogs.com* Source Report: Bioelectrochemistry: Ions, Surfaces, Membranes Chapter 26, pp 445–459 Chapter DOI: 10.1021/ba-1980-0188.ch026 Advances in Chemistry, Vol. 188 ISBN13: 9780841204737eISBN: 9780841223707 Publication Date (Print): June 01, 1980 Copyright © 1980 AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY