Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). It is an inexpensive and very effective foamer. Sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate or SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are commonly used alternatives to SLES in consumer products. While SLS is a known irritant, some evidence and research suggest that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure.
Also, a foaming agent is a material that will decompose to release a gas under certain conditions (typically high temperature), which can be used to turn a liquid into a foam. For example, powdered titanium hydride is used as a foaming agent in the production of metal foams, as it decomposes to form titanium and hydrogen gas at elevated temperatures. Zirconium(II) hydride is used for the same purpose.
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