Are you aware of the toxic cosmetic ingredients commonly found in your personal care products? There are lots of them lurking on that ingredient label. You know, all those long words that you struggle to pronounce. Some ingredients in beauty products aren’t that pretty.
U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Imagine what that does to your skin, and to the environment.
There are virtually no restrictions on the ingredients that may be used in personal care products since the FDA cannot require safety testing of products before they are sold to the public. The cosmetic companies themselves are held responsible for the safety of their own products. As a result and driven by profit rather than a concern for human health and well-being, personal care products are often filled with synthetic and hazardous chemicals.
In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) “under federal law, companies can put virtually anything they wish into personal care products, and many of them do. Mercury, lead, placenta extract — all of these and many other hazardous materials that millions of Americans, including children, use every day…” Many of these ingredients are also linked to cancer.
We really need to start questioning the products we are putting on our skin and not just assume that the chemicals in them are safe or even “natural.” 74% of all personal care products on the market according to chemical industry databases contain:
- Carcinogens- cancer causing chemicals
- Teratogens- causing birth defects
- Reproductive toxins- male & female infertility
- Developmental toxins- hazardous to unborn children
- Skin/sense organ toxicants- causing skin disease and rashes
- Allergenic toxicants- causing allergies
- Mutagens- causing cells to mutate
57% of all skin care products contain penetration enhancer chemicals like Propylene Glycol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that drive the products down deep through five layers of skin and straight into your bloodstream!
- Known Human Carcinogens: Mercury, Lead Acetate & Formaldehyde, Coal Tar
- Reproductive/Developmental Toxin: Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate
- Possible Human Carcinogens: Petroleum Distillates, Ethylacrylate, Potassium Dichromate, Selenium Sulfide, Acrylamide, Phenylphenol
- Respiratory toxicity hazards: Dimethylamine
- Forms carcinogens when mixed: 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
- Banned for use in cosmetics: Zirconium Silicate, DC Blue 6, EXT DC Green 1, EXT DC Red 1, EXT DC Red 3
- Limited evidence of cancer: Hexachlorophene
Most of the chemicals on this list have been banned by the EU for use in cosmetics. However, these chemicals are still widely used in cosmetics sold right here in the United States.
Official Sources: CDC, HazMap and Scorecard.org, EWG.org
Are You Aware That Some Chemicals Can Change Your Hormones?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine (or hormone system) in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Specifically, they are known to cause learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, deformations of the body (including limbs); sexual development problems, feminizing of males or masculine effects on females, etc. Any system in the body controlled by hormones, can be derailed by hormone disruptors. The critical period of development for most organisms is between the transition from a fertilized egg, into a fully formed infant. As the cells begin to grow and differentiate, there are critical balances of hormones and protein changes that must occur. Therefore, a dose of disrupting chemicals can do substantial damage to a developing fetus.
An example of a common endocrine/hormone disruptor is phthalates. These chemicals, also called “plasticizers,” are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible or resilient and also as solvents. Phthalates are everywhere in modern society. They are found in toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo. Baums carries safe personal care products as well as safe cleaning supplies for your family, including your pets! Come and see the great things we have to offer!
Just for kids
Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life.
- Use fewer products and use them less often.
- Don’t trust ad hype. Check ingredients.
- Buy fragrance-free products.
- Avoid the use of baby powder.
Always avoid EWG’s top six chemicals of concern for kids:
- 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3 Diol
- Boric acid
- sodium borate
- DMDM Hydantoin
Visit the Environmental Working Groups website at http://www.ewg.org