Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Synthetic Chemical Ingredients to be aware of

Did you know that according to the FDA, there are over 10,500 different ingredients that are used in cosmetic products, and more than 89 percent of those ingredients have never been evaluated for safety. I almost fell out of my chair when I read this. The agency's regulation for cosmetic ingredients is:" a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA." OMG is what I was saying thinking back on how much make up Ive used in my lifetime.
The FDA did limit the use of a few chemical ingredients in cosmetics. Why only 9? Who knows but here they are.
Halogenated salicylanilides
Methylene chloride
Hexachlorophene (HCP) (limited to 1%)
Mercury compounds (can only be used as a preservative in eye are cosmetics provided no other effective and safe preservative is available for use)
Chlorofluorocarbon propellants (prohibited in cosmetic aerosol products to protect the ozone layer)
Vinyl chloride & zirconium-containing complexes (banned only in aerosol cosmetic products)

Can you believe that European Union has banned over 1,000 ingredients that are suspected of giving you health problems? I think that the USA needs to learn a little from the European Union.

Although there are way more synthetic chemicals to list, there are 3 that are biggies.

This is used as solvents for fragrances. Its also used as plasticizers in flexible polyvinyle products. Its commonly found in fragrances;perfume,deodorants;nail polish;and in hair care products like shampoo,cream rinse, hair spray, hair gels and creams, and hair dyes;in skin creams and lotions. Why is Phthalates so bad? Well well let me tell you. It may damage the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs.  Also may cause cancer. Its a suspected hormonal disrupter.

Glycol Ethers
Solvents used as antifreeze and in paints, adhesives, dyes, inks and cosmetics. Its usually found in deodorant, nail polish, perfume and other scented beauty products.  Gylcol Ethers can cause dermatitis and in very high doses can cause liver, kidney, and reproductive damage. This is very common in the United States.

Compounds that release formaldehyde are: paraformaldehyde, benzyl hemiformal, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, and methenamine.
Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and can be found in nail polish, shampoo, eye shadow, mascara, blush, foundation, and other cosmetics.   It can cause probably human carcinogen and may also cause birth defects.  It can cause respiratory problems, and exacerbates asthma.  May also be toxic to the kidneys, liver, skin and central nervous system. And of course its banned in European Union. Seems as if they have their heads on straight.

Is used as a skin lightener which inhibits the production of melanin.  Did you know that hydroquinone is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of Inert Pesticide Ingredients of Toxicological Concern.  This chemical can cause irreversible skin damage, swelling and permanent discoloration. You can find this in products aimed at the African American community. And once again the European Union banned it. Hello USA? Are you awake and reading this?

The whole reason I am bringing this up is because I am reading an amazing book called Green Barbarians by Ellen Sandbeck. I thought I was in the up and up with green living until I started reading this book. I literally am ready to go in my bathroom and take everything I have ever bought and go put it on the steps of the FDA building. They can have all of it if its so safe.

I encourage you to go out and get this book. She has written 3 other books that I will be reading as well.  I have not finished it, to be honest I keep going back and reading things over and over again. I guess im trying to make sure I am reading these things correct. I now need to start taking a long hard look at what I am using on my body. I know everything I am putting into my body because I make everything from scratch and only buy healthy food. But I have not actually sat down and looked at what i'm putting onto my body . I am starting to freak out a bit thinking about it. Its going to be an interesting journey and I hope to bring you all with me.
All information was found in her book mixed with my few comments.


Deb B. said...

Great article! Here is the website I told you about that tells you about toxins in products that you use:
Check it out.


Patty said...

(wasn't sure where to leave this comment so its ending up on this post...) I walked into home depot this weekend and there was a huge display at the entry way of Martha Stewarts new line of 'natural' and 'eco friendly' products. There was a different bottle for almost every standard household cleaner. I didn't know what to think.