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by: Helena Ray
- The cosmetic and skin industry is free to decide what ingredients they put in their products. The FDA does not regulate the industry. Many of the products, scientist have come to realize are cancer causing agents or toxic by-products. Researchers have recently discovered that some of these ingredients may adversely affect the hormones controlling reproduction and development.
- One of the most common and potentially toxic-compounds commonly found in personal care products is DEA (diethanolomine). This can be found in soaps, detergents and surfactants, it is found in over 600 home and personal care products. The shampoo and soap you use most likely includes this chemical. Studies have linked kidney, liver, and other organ damage associated with the use of this ingredient.
This is because it cannot be easily excreted from the body but instead builds up in the fatty tissues of the liver, brain, kidneys, and spleen with repeated oral and dermal exposure. As DEA collects in the tissues, it spurs an accumulation of abnormal phospholipids that can lead to mounting tissue and nerve damage and premature death. In spite of this, > DEA is still one of the most common cosmetic and hair care ingredients. Approximately 200 million pounds of DEA are produced annually in the U.S., most of which goes into personal care products as emulsifiers, thickeners, and wetting agents (USITC, 1990).
- Everyone uses hair shampoo on a weekly to daily basis Complaints about irritation from shampoo is among the most frequent made to the FDA and to manufacturers. The vast majority of commercially available shampoos are loaded with chemicals that are hazardous to your skin and health! Have you ever wondered why we have a higher percentage of brain tumors among the population in North America than any where else in the world. Scientific studies have proven that Sodium Laurel Sulfate (S L S) found in most shampoos damages protein formation in the eyes. After damage has been done, S L S even retards the healing process. Dandruff shampoos are the most dangerous of all hair care products because they contain highly toxic medications, which prevent the scalp from shedding skin. Antidandruff agents include Selenium Sulfide, which if swallowed, can cause vital organs to degenerate. You ask then how do I control my dandruff? If you choose to shower in filtered water this will have a large effect on the drying of your scalp.
- Another commonly used ingredient in beauty creams, cleansers and makeup is Propylene Glycol. You will be shocked to know that this ingredient is also found in anti-freeze, airplane deicer, and break fluid, the list goes on and on. We expose ourselves day after day, hour after hour, to these toxic ingredients - and then we wonder why cancer rates are soaring.
- So what should you do to protect yourself? First, go back thru this info and write down each toxic chemical and then make sure you read the product labels, and be especially cautious of designer products. Next time you're in a department store, ask one of the highly paid sales clerks about the product they're selling to you. If your concerned about your long-term health, you'll almost certainly walk out empty handed.
DID YOU KNOW??
- Way back in 1938, the FDA published guidelines regarding suitable levels of ingredients in products for human use, at the time little was known about long-term exposure. More than likely the absorption of these toxins through the skin was not even considered. What has been the cosmetic industry's response? To put a quote on these labels, it states this, "It has not been proven to cause side effects in humans", "Our products are formulated within strict FDA guidelines" or "More studies are needed."
- A field Hydrographic is someone who measures and monitors rain and snow fall. A solution they use quite often is composed of approximately 80% water, 20% propylene glycol and less than 1% mineral oil. When this solution is to be disposed of, it is required to use rubber gloves, goggles and protective clothing. It is placed in a container labeled Hazardous Waste. If this solution should spill on the ground, it must be contained and the contaminated earth must be dug-up and hauled to a toxic waste dump. Now, ask your self-this question.
What would happen if this solution was to get on someone's skin? The answer is nothing. However, what are the long term effects from this chemical? A highly hazardous chemical that needs to be discarded of in a toxic waste dump, but is allowed to be used (propylene glycol) in your soaps and shampoos. THINK!
- Shampoo sales are over 2 billion dollars in the United States each year. There are many manufacturers offering an incredible assortment of products. It is estimated about 70-80% of shampoos and conditioners have no ingredients listed on the bottle. The products that do have ingredients listed have many synthetics and chemicals in them. Which doesn't leave the consumer much to choose from.
- Permanent hair dyes have previously been linked to increased risks of disease. When applying the product, a small amount is absorbed through the skin. The body later expels the chemicals through urine, passing through the bladder. In 2001, researchers at the University of Southern California found that women who used permanent dyes could double or triple their risk of developing bladder cancer. Women who colored their hair every month for 15 years were said to be exposed to an even higher risk of cancer. Women who regularly color their hair with permanent hair dyes - as well as hair stylists who work with such chemicals - are at a significantly greater risk for bladder cancer, according to a study from researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
- On the positive side, researchers said the association with increased cancer risk was found only with permanent dyes, not semi-permanent or temporary hair color, which rinses out and fades after a series of shampoos.
Styling Mousse and Hair Spray, indicates on the label, Flammable, avoid fire and flame, avoid spraying near eyes, keep out of reach of children and use only as directed. Styling mousse and hairspray contain almost the exact same ingredients. The only difference is mousse is foam instead of a spray. Some ingredients include aerosol propellants, alcohol, carcinogenic polyvinylprrolidone formaldehyde, and artificial fragrance.
Regular users of hair spray are at risk of developing a lung disease called thesauruses, which causes enlarged lymph nodes, lung masses, and changes in blood cells. More than half the women and men affected with this disease recovered within six months after discontinuing hair spray use.
- Read the label: Not to be taken internally, keep out of reach of children, avoid getting in eyes and if irritation occurs, discontinue use. Whether the issue is hair spray, shampoo, lipstick, baby powder, suntan lotion, soap or toothpaste. Americans assume that the products they use are safe. Environmentally conscious websites such as Convictions of the Heart offer all natural skin and hair care lines. Remember, it's up to you to make a conscious choice. Since the FDA is unable to deal with manufacturing of these products, then it's up to us to take a stand and support the companies that manufacture products that don't harm our health. Take the time to educate yourself and inform others.
We as a whole work together we can make a difference. When our awareness and consciousness becomes heightened only then will we see what were doing to our environment and ourselves. Then we'll find the power within ourselves to force our government and industries to correct the environmental injustice we've created. Thank you for taking the time to review this information. Our Conviction to take action holds the promise for our future. Conviction to love, health and life. With your conviction to purchase environmentally sound products thru our site will help our cause and be a new beginning for your tomorrow.
About the Author
Helena Ray is the creator of Convictions of the Heart (www.convictionsoftheheart.com), a website dedicated to helping people become aware of the current environmental problems and the personal effects on your health. Convictions of the Heart supports all green merchants and offers a variety of environmentally friendly products, all natural products, and whole foods.