Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
The “Beauty Business” is huge around the world and primarily consists of Cosmetics and Personal Care Products that are used by men, women, children and babies every single day.
Is it possible that many of these products can be harmful to our health and wellness ?
The “Beauty Business” is huge, estimated to be worth about £57 billion in the US, UK and Europe.
The main categories of Personal Care include makeup, skin, hair and nail care, baby care, eye care, oral care and what is termed “fragrance”.
There are literally thousands of products in the US, UK and Europe and most men and women use multiple personal care products every day of their lives.
Have you ever stopped to think how many Personal Care products you and your family use daily.
Most families use shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, hair conditioner, lip balm, body lotion, sunscreen, and cosmetics for the women and shaving products for the men. Then the children might use nappy cream, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen and possibly an insect repellent.
Most people use these products without a second thought, assuming that all of these products, especially baby care products are totally safe and even beneficial.
Unfortunately this is a very bad assumption.
In 2004 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a survey into the use and effects of Personal Care products and published their shocking results.
They found that most products contain harmful or untested industrial chemicals including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants.
- 12.2 million adults, including both men and women are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable carcinogenic products every day of their lives. (remember carcinogens are known to cause cancer).
- 4.3 million women are exposed to ingredients that are known to be probable reproductive and developmental toxins causing impaired fertility or developmental harm for a baby in the womb or a young child.
- One out of every five adults are potentially exposed, on a daily basis, to the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to Personal Care product ingredients, including:
- Ethylene dioxide
- 1,4 Dioxane
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH,s)
The worst being “hydroquinone, a contaminant, used daily in the US by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent by all men.
In 2008 the EWG did laboratory test on 20 teenagers, aged 14-19. They revealed that adolescent girls across America are contaminated with chemicals commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. These included 16 chemicals from 4 chemical families – phthalates, triclosan, parabens and musks. These chemicals are all associated with health problems including cancer and hormone disruptors.
Then the most shocking study that the EWG has ever carried out.
This study found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood taken from ten babies during 2004.
Tests revealed 287 chemicals, these included personal care products, pesticides, consumer product ingredients, wastes from burning coal, petrol and garbage.
Of the 287 chemicals, 180 are known to cause cancer in human animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animals.
Assessment – Firstly establish what personal care products you and your family are using, then go to the EWG site www.cosmeticsdatabase.com where 37,000 products are listed, each rated for safety, listing the dangerous chemicals and toxicity levels.
Then you can make comparisons and choose safe products or look into using natural “organic” personal care products.
Take care and be positive and grateful for everything in your life.
With love and caring.