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Phthalates Found in Skin Care & Cosmetic Products and the Possible Dangers of Exposure

Phthalates Found in Skin Care & Cosmetic Products and the Possible Dangers of Exposure

I can’t believe it!…

There has been evidence mounting for years through various scientific studies that Phthalates, known endocrine disruptors, found in many products, particularly personal care and cosmetics, fragrances and pacifiers are affecting semen quality, the male reproductive organs and have been found to cause genital malformations in baby boys…

o Professor Niels Skakkebaek, Research Director, Copenhagen University Hospital, in exhaustive studies, after what seemed to be a spike in the incidence of testicular cancer and sterility, found semen quality has reduced by 50% in the past 50 years. A 1996 Danish report cited testicular cancer rates had risen 400% in 60 years.

The professor was severely criticized and so sent all his data to researcher Professor Shanna Swan, Epidemiologist, Rochester University, USA, to repeat the studies. With 3 people working for 4 months the results were almost identical to the Danish findings.

o Professor Swan is quoted in the documentary “Men in Danger” as saying “there are 85,000 chemicals in commerce, most of which we know nothing about…. Their effects on carcinogenic potential, metabolism, immune system and reproductive potential…”

o The studies relating to the feminization of wildlife exposed to estrogen chemicals and compounds may effect breast growth and lactation and could have a role in uterine disease such as fibroids and endometriosis, according to McLachlan, Simpson and Martin of Tulane and Xavier universities in their 2006 study (1)

o Professor Lou Guillette, Zoologist of University of Florida, in 2 studies repeated a year apart, phthalates in low concentrations, (parts per trillion) found the chemicals caused sex reversal in fish and amphibians.

o Mexico’s National Institute of public Health led by researcher Lizbeth Lopez-Carrillo found correlation between the concentrations of certain Phthalate metabolites in the urine of breast cancer victims. Monoethyl Phthalate (MEP) was found in higher concentrations of the 233 patients with cancer than the 221 women tested who were without the disease. This suggests MEP and other phthalates induces DNA damage. It was found that certain phthalate compounds alter gene expression without altering the genetic code itself.

o Baby care products were the focus of studies by the University of Washington, led by researcher Sheela Sathyanarayana. Urine samples from babies who had baby lotion, shampoo and powder used on their skin showed the significant presence of phthalates Monoethyl phthalate (MEP) (MMP) and monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP)

“These findings suggest that dermal exposures may contribute significantly the phthalate body burden in this population” concluded the researchers.

And still the chemical and cosmetic industry claim there is not enough scientific evidence to be concerned and therefore no danger to humans from these chemicals.

I can’t avoid thinking about the Tobacco Industry fiasco where the cigarette manufactures refused to admit there could be something sinister regarding the incidences of lung cancer linked to cigarette smoking!

So the facts are:

1. Scientific studies from researchers world wide find absorption of chemicals impact adversely on animals of many species, from mammals, fish and amphibians.

2. Various other studies find these same chemicals are absorbed by people of all ages. There is not yet enough data to convince authorities, (or they are lobbied by parties with vested interest) who should have our health and well being, to legislate against the inclusion of these chemicals in products readily available to a wide population.

To avoid risk of exposure to toxic chemicals through skin care products, look for Certified Organic products.

Be certain of the certifying labels as many cosmetic manufactures claim have organic ingredients, but also include chemicals in their products.

Major sources of phthalates are from fragrances in these products. The phthalates help the smell to linger longer after the products have been used. Fragrances can be made up of up to 400 different elements, and are not individually listed on an ingredients label.

1) Tulane and Xavier Universities, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.