U.S researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.
Here are a few chemicals commonly found in our daily personal care products.
Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. It is found in a wide range of personal care products including deodorants and other skin care products.
They are endocrine disruptors, linked to breast cancer. May contribute to sterility in males, hormone imbalance in females and early puberty.
Sodium lauryl sulphate makes products foamy. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal care products that foam.
May cause eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, diarrhea and skin irritation.
Fragrance also known as perfume are “hidden chemicals”. These are found in personal care products and perfumes.
These are linked to a wide range of health effects, including allergies, immune system toxicity, headaches, dizziness, and suspected carcinogenic activity.
Lead is often not listed, but a contaminant in many lipsticks and some hair dyes.
A neurotoxins, carcinogen, and hormone disruptors. Known to reduce fertility and may result in learning disabilities as well as behaviour problems.
DEA/TEA/MEA are emulsifiers and formers in a range of products, including shampoos, face and body washes, and makeup. They are used in cosmetics and shampoos to improve the creamy texture and foaming capacity. It is also added to many other products, such as laundry detergents, liquid cleaners, polishes, and others.
Skin irritation and sensitization are the primary concerns arising from DEA-containing products.
Excessive, prolonged, or widespread exposure to MEA through the skin may result in kidney or liver damage.
Coal tar is a thick black liquid, a by-product of the coal industry. It is used in lotions and shampoos to treat dandruff, psoriasis, and headline. Also used in dry skin treatment and colourants in hair dye.
Coal tar is a known carcinogen that has been banned in the European Union.
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