Sulfite Products


While food products are the most common ways sulfites (sulphites) can enter the human body, some non-food products also can cause problems for people.

Sulfites can be used as a fungicidal (fungus killing) spray on fruit crops. This is potentially harmful for those living near farms and agricultural areas. People living near orchards should be aware when spraying is taking place.

Household products that can contain sulfites are as follows:

Common Sulfite Containing Products

  • Oxidative hair dye products.
  • Hair waving/straightening products
  • Some Self-tanning products for the face
  • Some Self-tanning products for the body
  • Some Perfumes
  • Some Cosmetics

What about Sulfates?

Sulfates are chemically different to sulfites. People with sensitivity to sulfites wont necessarily be sensitive to sulfates.

You may have seen this ingredient,  Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, on many products and it does cause its own set of problems according to;

“It builds up in heart, lungs, brain and liver from skin contact and may cause damage to these organs. Corrodes hair follicles and may cause hair to fall out. Damages immune system. Contain endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Impairs proper structural formation of young eyes. May contain carcinogenic nitrosamines.”

sulfate-productsTherefore, it’s a good idea to avoid products containing  this chemical as well, although it shouldn’t trigger sulfite allergy symptoms.

Common products that contain sulfates are;

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotions
  • Hand soups
  • Laundry detergents
  • Cleaning products
  • Body wash 
  • Face cleansers
  • Bubble bath

Unfortunately, many product that aren’t used directly on the body don’t disclose the ingredients on the package. Therefore some research has to be done if you wish to totally eliminate sulfates as well.


Since sulfites are in few non-food products, diet is the most important thing to focus on. However if you have consistent rashes and eczema should take a close look at all the products your skin is coming in contact with.

By eliminating these products you can elevate any reactions your body may be having to sulfites.



  • Malik, M. M., Hegarty, M. A., & Bourke, J. F. (2007). Sodium metabisulfite–a marker for cosmetic allergy?. Contact Dermatitis, 56(4), 241-242. link
  • Vena, G. A., Foti, C., & Angelini, G. (1994). Sulfite contact allergy. Contact Dermatitis, 31(3), 172-175. link