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Cosmetics in the News

Over the last few years, there have been a number of reports alerting women to the toxic ingredients in many cosmetics.

The cosmetics industry has not told people of the harm that some ingredients can cause with repeated use.
You do have a choice. Now is the time to change to a brand that does not use harmful ingredients.
We can refer you to a brand that is a quality cosmetic and that does not contain toxins. You can ask here.

Some reports into this important issue

CBS TV (WBZTV) 29 January 2009
How many personal care products do you use everyday? If you take a minute to add them all up you may be surprised. There's soap, lotion, shampoo, shave gel and makeup. For many women, the number is usually well over a dozen. What concerns scientists is that number often doubles for teens.

That doesn't surprise Emma Spencer of Winchester. The college freshman has a neat stack of small drawers in her bathroom filled with eye shadows, blush and lipstick. But when she looks in the mirror to brush on her favorite lip color, she has a slightly different view than most teens.

Emma now understands why scientists are concerned. She gave a sample of her blood as part of a nationwide study to help researchers understand if the chemicals commonly used in cosmetics wound up in our blood.

"They found varying levels of different chemicals like phlatales and parabens and fragrances that are potentially harmful to everyone," Emma explained.

Ruthanne Rudel is a toxicologist with the Silent Spring Institute in Newton.
She did not work directly on the study but she is familiar with the findings.

She said many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors. "They can interfere with hormone systems," she said.

Because teens are still developing, they are far more vulnerable than adults.

"Hormones in their bodies are basically giving instructions as to how their bodies should develop, so if you interfere with that signaling, you cause actually permanent, irreversible damage," she said.

There have been no definitive studies on humans, but Rudel says animal studies have linked these chemicals to reproductive problems and hormonally driven cancer like breast cancer.

Here is the link to the CBS report

Vail Daily February 15, 2009 - article by Cassie Pence
Coal tar in shampoo, lead in lipstick, petroleum distillates in mascara: These are just three of the 1,100 chemicals banned from beauty care products by the European Commission in 2003. The United States, however, is far behind other countries when it comes to cosmetic safety. To date, the Food and Drug Administration has banned only nine ingredients — and lead in your lipstick is not one of them.

“This leaves a vast number of known carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins and hormone-disrupting chemicals in personal care products in the U.S.,” said Dr. Ann Blake, an independent consultant who works with governments, occupational health, public health and environmental advocates to find viable alternatives to toxic chemicals in manufacturing and consumer products.

As with many of the products we bring into our homes, like cleaning products, read labels, Dr. Blake suggested, and simplify. If you can do the job with soap and water, why buy the expensive three-strong-chemicals-in-one spray cleaner? The same goes for cosmetics.

“The average woman uses 20 products a day, containing over 100 unique chemicals. Men are exposed to about half of that, as they tend to use fewer products. Teens are exposed to many more chemicals, and at a time when their bodies are particularly vulnerable to the hormone-disrupting chemicals many personal care products contain,” said Dr. Blake. “Try to reduce the overall number of products you buy, look for products without synthetic fragrance, and sit back and enjoy a simpler approach to personal care.”

Care2.com - March 9 2009 & susanjeske.com
Beauty queen-turned-activist Susan Jeske wants you to know the ugly truth about what your beauty routine is doing to your health.

Breast cancer, heart disease, heart disease, birth defects, memory loss, depression–these are just a few of the conditions that have been linked to “The Toxic 12,” a list of the worst toxic and carcinogenic ingredients commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics.

The former Ms. America worked more than 20 years in the beauty, cosmetic and personal care products industry, but several years ago severe health issues led her to a holistic doctor who urged her to stop using the synthetic and toxic chemicals on her skin that were making her sick.

After her health issues went away after just two weeks of using natural and organic products instead, she started studying everything about cosmetics and skin care. What she found disturbed her and she is on a mission to educate the public about the dangers.

Here is her list:

Benzoyl Peroxide: Frequently used in acne products, the MSDS states: “Facilitates action of known carcinogens. … Possible tumor promoter. May act as mutagen; produces DNA damage in human and other mammalian cells in some concentrations. Also, toxic by inhalation. May be harmful if swallowed and in contact with skin. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant.”

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (Triethanolamine): This foam booster is a skin/eye irritant and causes contact dermatitis. Easily absorbed through skin to accumulate in body organs, even the brain. Repeated use resulted in major increases of liver and kidney cancer.

Dioxin: Won’t appear on an ingredient list. Often contained in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and ethoxylated cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Dioxin causes cancer, reduced immunity, nervous system disorders, miscarriages and birth deformity. It’s a hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion–one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Our bodies have no defense against its damage. Most visible example was Yushchenko, the Ukrainian President, who suffered from dioxin poisoning and looked old overnight.

DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): Just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, cancer, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, aggravate coughs and colds.

FD&C Color & Pigments: Synthetic colors from coal tar contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins in skin, causing skin sensitivity / irritation. Absorption can cause depletion of oxygen and death. Animal studies show almost all are carcinogenic.

Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl): Used as preservatives and aren’t always labeled “parabens.” They’re used in deodorants and antiperspirants and have been found in breast cancer tumors. Parabens, as xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors), may contribute to sterility in male mice and humans. Estrogen-like activity causes hormone imbalance in females and early puberty.

PEG (Polyethylene glycol): Made by ethoxylating Propylene Glycol. Dangerous levels of dioxin have been found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process. PEGs are in everything including personal care, baby care and sunscreens.

Phthalates: Xenoestrogens are commonly found in many products, usually not listed on labels. Health effects include damage to liver/kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm counts and early breast development in girls and boys.

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: Petroleum plastics act as surfactants (wetting agents, solvents). EPA considers PG so toxic it requires protective gloves, clothing, goggles and disposal by burying. Because PG penetrates skin so quickly, EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. There is NO warning label on products where concentration is greater than in most industrial applications.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90 percent of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation–even death. SLS may also damage skin’s immune system by causing layers to separate, inflame and age.

Sunscreen chemicals: Avobenzone, benzphenone, ethoxycinnamate, PABA are commonly used ingredients that are known free radical generators and are believed to damage DNA or lead to cancers.

Triclosan: Synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient with chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! EPA registers it as a pesticide, posing risks to human health and environment. Classified as a chlorophenol, chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Tufts University School of Medicine says triclosan is capable of forcing emergence of ’super bugs’ it cannot kill.

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