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Concern about Aloe Ferox

by Reina Shebesta
(Newport Beach, CA USA)

Hello -

I have used your product for 3 years on my children and myself. The Environmental Working Group website is supportive but lists your ingredient, Aloe Ferox as follows:

Aloe Ferox: Possible human carcinogen (only for IF NON DECOLORIZED)
- - IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer)

Is your Aloe Ferox Decolorized? I don't want to use even potentially harmful ingredients on my children. Please respond so that I may order again with full confidence.

Thank you.

Reina Shebesta

Comments for Concern about Aloe Ferox

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Feb 07, 2018
response to Monica
by: Sue

Thanks for sending detail and recommendations about the Aloe Ferox in Sunumbra products.
I will amend the ingredient page as suggested for better clarity and point out that it is the Aloin content in the Aloe Ferox or Aloe Vera that we avoid as the potentially carcinogenic element.
Our Aloe technical detail reveals an Aloin content of <1 ppm (parts per million).
It is also, as mentioned, only the gel that is used. It is extracted and dried for use as a soluble powder.

Feb 02, 2018
Concern about Aloe Ferox
by: Monica

Hi, I've came across a reference to the aloe ferox content on a related sunumbra webpage, that says that the extract of the aloe ferox ingredient used in the sunumbra sunscreens, is non-decolorized because the EWG has flagged decolorized aloe ferox/vera as potentially carcinogenic. https://www.sunumbra.com/aloe-ferox-extract.html

Please note that the EWG actually warns of the exact opposite: non-decolorized is potentially carcinogenic, decolorized is not.

Decolorization is a fitration method, and it only becomes relevant when using the whole-leaf aloe product. Aloin is the potential cancer-causing compound found in the aloe plant, but it only occurs in the outer part of the leaf, not the gel. So if you're only using the gel extract in your sunscreen, then it need not be decolorized, but if you're using the whole-leaf, then ideally it should be decolorized.

On the same sunumbra webpage referred to above, it says that the powdered form of the aloe plant is used. But it doesn't specify whether it's the gel extract only, or the whole leaf. It would be helpful if this could be specified in the ingredients list of the sunscreen products going forward.

Jun 14, 2017
Aloin Content
by: Anonymous

Hello Sue -

Have you been able to verify the ppm of your aloin content in all of your Sunumbra products? Is decolorization used?

Also, Can I be e-mailed the aloin content scientific information for Sunumbra products? Is each batch tested? I want to continue to order the product, but need to feel confident about this issue.

Thank you.

Hello again. I have sent an email off to Reina. Please confirm you are the same person? If not, I need a different email address?
Many thanks

May 31, 2017
Follow up on Aloe Ferox
by: Anonymous

Thank you. Retaining color, and decolorizing to remove aloin are indeed 2 different processes.

Please find out if your product's aloe ferox goes through the decolorization process to remove aloin and please find out the aloin ppm.

Thank you again.

May 30, 2017
Non-Decolorized
by: Anonymous

Hello -

Non-Decolorized is the potentially cancer causing, so I would think you want decolorized. I am confused.

If I am reading correctly, it is harmful only if "non decolorized". This means "decolorized" is safe, and "non decolorized" is not safe.

This would mean your product contains the harmful Aloe Ferox. Am I correct?

May 30, 2017
Aloe Ferox not decolourized
by: Sue

Thanks for your due diligence regarding the Aloe Ferox in our sunscreens. I can confirm we use one that retains what I believe to be its natural color of a slightly off white.
I find the term non-decolorized quite confusing but in reading the detail of the scientific papers, it is the Aloin content in the Aloe Ferox or Aloe Vera that we must avoid as the potentially carcinogenic element.
Our Aloe technical detail reveals an Aloin content of <1 ppm (parts per million). I have requested more specific technical detail to make doubly sure this percentage of Aloin is not potentially carcinogenic and that the processes used to make sure the Aloin is minimized is the same as the de-colorization process referred to.

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