Are Your Personal Care Products as Unhealthy as Bacon?
Bacon lovers are still singing the blues after the World Health Organization recently identified this tasty meat, along with all other processed meats, as a carcinogen. Yes, according to WHO, bacon causes cancer. Now, we’ve long been aware that bacon and other processed meats preserved with sodium nitrite are really unhealthy. When cooked at high temps, those nitrites form nitrosamines, which we’ve known for years were carcinogenic. So, health conscious consumers buy nitrite-free bacon from their local health food or grocery store. Sure, it might cost a little more, but it’s not carcinogenic!
This whole bacon thing got us thinking about the chemicals, some of them carcinogenic, that are in the personal care products many people use on a daily basis. Very simply, every ingredient you put on your body is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. Yet, there are harmful synthetic chemicals in everything from lipstick and body lotion to shampoo and shaving cream. A lot of these chemicals are also used to clean industrial equipment. We can all agree that an ingredient that effectively scours a garage floor may not be the best choice for a facial cleanser!
In the USA, major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or birth defects.
We don’t always have a choice when we’re exposed to carcinogenic chemicals. Engine exhaust fumes, particularly diesel fumes, are defined by the American Cancer Society as carcinogenic. And of course, so is second hand smoke. But, when it comes to personal care products, (and, well, bacon) we do have a choice. While clean products with high quality ingredients may cost a little more, they aren’t carcinogenic! And, you deserve that.
Each Organic Excellence product is chemical, fragrance, gluten and GMO free!
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Following are just some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics and what they do to us.
Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in nail polish, perfume, deodorant, and hairspray. They damage the reproductive system, kidneys, heart and hormone function in animals. Phthalate exposure has also been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life breast cancer. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that women of child-bearing age have up to 20 times greater exposure to dibutyl phthalate (DBP) than men.
Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. This chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systems, especially thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism, and may disrupt normal breast development.
1,4-dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant formed in the manufacture of shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other foaming cosmetics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked it as a carcinogen.
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial in creams, lotions, ointments and other cosmetics, including underarm deodorants. They are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.
Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize surgical instruments. It can also be a contaminant of personal care products such as shampoos and body washes, because it is used to buffer the harshness of some foaming agents, and trace amounts can be left behind. It is classified as a known human carcinogen and is one of 51 chemicals that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) identifies as mammary carcinogens in animals.
1,3-butadiene is found in shaving creams, spray sunscreens and foundations, and anti-fungal treatments and is a known carcinogen. Exposure occurs mainly through inhalation. This chemical has been found to increase mammary tumors in rodents.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil and gasoline. One of the more common PAHs is naphthalene. Some cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore may contain PAHs. They have been shown to increase risk for breast cancer.
Lead may be a contaminant in over 650 cosmetic products, including sunscreens, foundation, nail colors, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste. Lead is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning, language and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.
Sunscreens often contain chemicals that exert significant estrogenic activity, as measured by the increase in proliferation rates of human breast cancer cells in vitro. Studies show these chemicals are accumulating in wildlife and humans.
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Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical doctor. Organic Excellence does not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect a mental or physical health condition, please see your healthcare provider.