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Dangerous Chemicals in Makeup and Personal Care Products- Xenoestrogens

Xenoestrogens sounds like something from StarWars, Unfortunately they are very real and are found in many of our personal care products. Exactly what are they and what problems do they cause?

Xenoestrogens are a type of hormone that imitates estrogen. They can be either synthetic or natural chemical compounds.

Here are some of the chemicals that are xenoestrogens:

  • Skincare:

  • 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)

  • Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben commonly used as a preservative)

  • Benzophenone (sunscreen lotions)

  • Industrial products and Plastics:

  • Bisphenol A(monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers)

  • Phthalates(plasticizers)

  • DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)

  • Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs)(flame retardants used in plastics, foams, building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles).

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • Food:

  • Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3

  • Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)

  • Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)

  • Building supplies:

  • Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs (in electrical oils, lubricants, adhesives, paints)

  • Insecticides:

  • Atrazine (weed killer)

  • DDT (insecticide, banned)

  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (one of the breakdown products of DDT)

  • Dieldrin (insecticide)

  • Endosulfan (insecticide)

  • Heptachlor (insecticide)

  • Lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane (insecticide, used to treat lice and scabies)

  • Methoxychlor (insecticide)

  • Fenthion

  • Nonylphenol and derivatives (industrial surfactants; emulsifiers for emulsion polymerization; laboratory detergents; pesticides)

  • Other:

    • Propyl gallate

Chlorine and chlorine by-products

  • Ethinylestradiol(combined oral contraceptive pill)

  • Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)

  • Alkylphenol(surfactant used in cleaning detergents

It’s extremely important to avoid these chemicals particularly the ones present in personal care products. You may not think about it, but your skin is the largest organ in your body and has the most surface area for absorbing these chemicals.

These chemicals act like estrogen in our bodies and fuel estrogen sensitive cancers.

Once I began reading labels, I was shocked to discover products which I had used regularly, contained many of these dangerous chemicals. It was not just limited to cosmetics, but included lotions and nail care products. I had always used aluminum-free deodorant, but had no idea how many other products contained these harmful substances. Parabens are the most common ones found in cosmetics and are widely used.

What’s upsetting is that companies that use these chemicals in their products often proudly display the pink ribbon to mislead people into thinking they support breast cancer research. Profiting from a disease that are caused by your products is unthinkable. A movie that exposes these issues was produced in Canada and was recently released in the US. It’s called: Pink Ribbons Inc. and exposes the misuse of the Pink Ribbon by companies whose products contain carcinogens.

Last month Breast Cancer Prevention Partners issued a damning report revealing the shocking number of dangerous chemicals hiding in personal care products and cosmetics under the ingredient “fragrance.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s (Democrat-IL) has proposed a new bill that would ban the worst of these chemicals from retail cosmetics and professional salon products. Unlike other bills, the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2018 is the only federal cosmetic safety legislation that would shine a light on secret ingredients by requiring full fragrance ingredient disclosure.

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