What is Sodium C14-16 Alpha Olefin Sulfonate (AOS-40) and what does it do?

What is Sodium C14-16 Alpha Olefin Sulfonate (AOS-40) and what does it do?

What is AOS-40?

This anionic surfactant made from coconuts can be found in many leading natural household and personal care products.   Its main job is as a detergent in hair care and cleaning products.  It is in the olefin sulfonate class of chemicals, not to be confused with sulfate chemicals.   The International Journal of Toxicology, says AOS-40 is “… a mixture of long-chain sulfonate salts prepared by sulfonation of alpha-olefins of various carbon chain lengths.”  It’s very sciency, but in a nutshell, it is an introduction of a sulfonic acid (-SO3H) into an aromatic compound.

Why do we use AOS-40?

Sodium C14-16 alpha olefin sulfonate is one of the mildest surfactants on the market today.  It contains no allergen or cancer-causing agents like nitrosamines, ethylene oxide, or formaldehyde found in other manufacturers' products. AOS-40 is poorly absorbed through the skin making it a great alternative surfactant.  It is also on the EPA’s Safer Choice list of ingredients, and it has an EWG score of 1

Why do we use AOS-40 over other surfactants on the market?

Since starting Rustic Strength, it has been our mission to make effective products that are eco-friendly and as natural as can be.  During our research, we found that even “natural” surfactants can cause allergies or even cancer.  SLS, and SLES were never an option because it has been proven to cause allergic reactions.  Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) was another ingredient we stayed away from due to the impurities that could be found in the product.  The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology states that CAPB is the eighth most frequent allergen.  

Is AOS-40 safe to use? Is it non-toxic?

AOS-40 is one of the safest, nontoxic chemicals on the market to date.  It has low irritation and ecotoxicity.  Highly biodegradable with low sensitivities to water hardness.  

In Summary

AOS-40 helps to lift dirt and debris from surfaces, so the water can whisk them away.  It is mild in nature, derived from coconuts, and is palm-free.  There are no hidden impurities and it has a very low skin irritation rate.  This highly biodegradable surfactant is our go-to for enhanced detergency.   

If you have any questions regarding this or any other chemical we use feel free to reach out to customercare@rusticstrength.com  We would be more than happy to answer your questions. 

We invite you to do your own research! 

Scientific journals and articles are the foundation of evidence-based decisions at Rustic Strength. Blogs can provide helpful information. However, if it can not cite scientific articles, its claims stand on little. 

International Journal of Toxicology - https://hero.epa.gov/hero/index.cfm/reference/details/reference_id/4934953
poorly absorbed- https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/109158189801700504
EPA’s Safer Choice Sulfonic acids, C14-16-alkane hydroxy and C14-16-alkene, sodium salts- surfactants https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-ingredients#searchList
EWG - https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/706003-SODIUM_C1416_OLEFIN_SULFONATE/
allergic reactions -https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/56141/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-MRP-NYSIPM.pdf?sequence=1
CAPB - https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(19)33313-4/fulltext
low irritation and ecotoxicity - https://atamankimya.com/sayfalaralfabe.asp?LanguageID=2&cid=3&id=2872&id2=1162

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