Concerns with personal care products | 181

A multi-billion dollar industry, personal care products. How healthy are personal care products, we ask ourselves. According to the personal care business, the average person uses more than 200 chemicals across around 25 different personal care products. Products applied to the body that are not medications are referred to as cosmetics. The safety of 10,500 cosmetic components, or almost 90% of them, has not been examined. Many individuals automatically believe that something cannot harm somebody if it is on the market.

Synthetic preservatives known as parabens are frequently found in cosmetics and personal care items such shampoos, hair products, makeup, facial masks, creams, lotions, and even baby goods. Parabens have been linked to allergic reactions, rashes, contact dermatitis, and skin irritation. skin responses and have been demonstrated in experimental studies to behave similarly to the hormone estrogen.
In 18 samples from a recent analysis of 20 breast cancers, significant paraben concentrations were discovered. It has been discovered that parabens resemble estrogen, which is known to contribute to the emergence of breast cancer. This preservative extends the shelf life of several foods and cosmetics.

“From this research it is not possible to say whether parabens actually caused these tumors, but they may certainly be associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases,” says Philip Harvey, editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, which published the study. Given that breast cancer kills more women than any other disease and affects a disproportionate proportion of young people Since women use underarm deodorants, Harvey told New Scientist that further research into parabens and their locations in the body has to be adequately financed.

Philippa Darbre, a molecular scientist, oversaw the latest investigation. According to her, the presence of parabens in the tumors suggests that they originated from a topical lotion used on the skin. A deodorant, lotion, or spray might have been the topical product. When consumed, parabens undergo metabolization, shed their ester group, and become less estrogen-mimicking.

Many in the personal care sector dispute this, claiming that a lot of underarm deodorants don’t include parabens. They assert that even if these cosmetics included minuscule levels of parabens, the skin would metabolize them and not have estrogenic effects.

The question of whether any parabens may accumulate intact in the body from the prolonged, low-dose levels to which people are exposed still exists, despite new revelations of the estrogenic capabilities of parabens challenging prevailing conceptions of their toxicity in these consumer goods. Thin-layer chromatography may be used to extract parabens from human breast tissue and detect them, according to preliminary research published here, according to P.D. Darbre and colleagues from the University of Reading’s School of Animal & Microbial Science.Parabens do not currently appear to be a cause of breast cancer, according to the study. However, this study demonstrates that intact levels of 5 of the 6 prevalent parabens may be found in malignant breast tissue.

Personal care product concerns

One out of every 100 personal care items on the market has substances that have been flagged as potential human carcinogens by regulatory agencies.

Our bodies, our breast milk, and the bodies of our infants all contain a lot of these substances. Potentially as a result of synthetic chemicals in our personal care items, diseases including breast cancer, testicular cancer, and reproductive issues are on the rise.

Companies should keep looking at new, eco-friendly ways to provide personal care products that are safe for our bodies.

There are groups who are working to change the legal requirements for personal care products’ safety. The European Union revised its cosmetics rule in 2003, requiring businesses to get rid of any chemicals thought to be linked to cancer, mutations, or birth abnormalities. from every personal care item.

Table of Contents

Ideas for locating safer cosmetics

Examine what’s in your bathroom cabinet.
Find out which goods are the safer choice.
Learn more about the products you are putting to your body by reading the product labels.


PD, MJ Sauer, WR Miller, NG Coldham, A Aljarrah, Darbre, PD, and GS Pope
Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 24, pp. 5-13, 2004, “Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumors.”

MG, GA, and Soni SL Burdock Greenberg, NA Taylor
Review of the existing literature for the safety evaluation of propyl paraben was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 39, 2001, pp. 553-462.

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