How everyday personal care chemicals could be messing with your health

It’s hard to believe but a Skin Deep Report by the Environmental Working Group in the US (EWG) back in 2005 found that over half of cosmetic products contain chemicals that can act like oestrogen or disrupt hormones in the body.

Even infinitesimally low levels of exposure [to endocrine-disrupting chemicals], indeed any level of exposure at all, may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window. Surprisingly, low doses may even exert more potent effects than higher doses.” The Endocrine Society, a foundation comprises of 14,000 hormone researchers and medical specialists in more than 100 countries”.

Unfortunately a lot of these chemicals in personal care products are readily absorbed by our bodies. Triclosan has been found in our breast milk and urine. The Environmental Working Group US (EWG) found 252 contaminants in the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants including BPA and fragrance chemicals. Another study showed teenage girls contaminated with phthalates, parabens and musks. Another study found parabens in breast tissue. Common ingredients – acrylates, coal tar dyes, pegs, polysorbates, deas and teas – may hide carcinogens according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, US.

So why are these personal care ingredients continued to be used? Well, although there are animal studies indicating links, we don’t have conclusive evidence that it’s doing us harm and since the 1950’s it’s reasoned that toxic chemicals (such as TRICLOSAN, BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE, TEAS, DEAS, POLYSORBATE 80, PHTHALATES, COAL DERIVED DYES, PARABENS, QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS AND DIAZOLIDINYL UREA) are incorporated into personal care products at such low concentration levels that they pose no harm to our health. But (and there are 3 big buts) 1. There have been no long-term studies that determine the cumulative effect of daily low level use of toxic chemicals; 2. More and more studies show a link between toxic chemicals used in personal care and issues like hormone disruption and bacterial resistance; and 3. Each individual and their daily chemical burden are different. How will your body deal with the daily influx of personal care chemicals?

squeakie believes that all chemicals that are suspected of being a hormone disrupter, or containing carcinogenic contaminants, or may lead to bacterial resistance or otherwise may negatively impact your health, even though you use them exactly as per the product directions, should never be used in personal care and cosmetics.  This is what being squeakie is all about, and what we believe is key in maintaining good health. No nasties in squeakie means no nasties in you.

When buying personal care products and cosmetics, flip to the ingredient list, and make sure you’re staying squeakie. For the latest updates on safe, clean personal care and cosmetics, join our monthly journal update.

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