Studies have shown that on a daily basis the average woman is exposed to 50 mg or more of the Dirty Dozen chemicals thanks to body care, fragrances, and cosmetics. A recent online study showed that 60% of consumers are looking for “safer” products however they still continue to use products with chemicals in them. The truth is, most people don’t know what to look for when reading ingredients lists. Secondly, we don’t have strong enough laws around safe ingredients and cosmetic labelling.
It disturbs me even as I write; I am sad to write these facts. So many “normal” chemical cosmetic ingredients are linked to cancers and other adverse health effects. Many of the dirtiest chemicals are found in our everyday personal care products, affecting human health, children, aquatic life, and the ecosystem. These chemicals have been linked to the following illnesses: various cancers, allergies, thyroid and kidney problems, lung function, blood coagulation, increased skin aging, skin cancer, breast cancer, neurotoxicity, endocrine (hormone) disruption, harmful affects in the developing fetus, female and male fertility, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, asthma, eye and skin irritations, systemic toxicity and genotoxicity. I’ve connected the dots below in my chart as to which ingredients cause which health problems. Make yourself aware of the Dirty Dozen chemicals so that you can protect your health and use safer products.
The Mother Nature Network describes breast cancer trends: ”The rate of incidence among women has risen from 1 in 22 in the 1940s to 1 in 7 in 2004, and breast cancer is also on the rise in men.” Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics made from petrochemicals. It’s estimated that at least 75-95% of cosmetics contain parabens. Parabens easily penetrate the skin and they are known endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Methylparaben has been found in breast cancer tissue and has been banned for use in personal care products in the European Union. I recently took a look at the bottle of Proactiv Cleanser that the little girl had that I take care of. I was shocked to see a list of, not just one paraben, but 4 parabens including methylparaben and propylparaben! Also, in the Human Toxome Project by the EWG, they found methylparaben in 28 of the 28 people tested in the study.
The David Suzuki Foundation has classified what they believe as the 12 most toxic ingredients that are linked to cancer. Here’s a summary that I’ve made into a chart form for easier reading. Here is a copy of the full report: Dirty Dozen Report.