Do you know that there is high risk of Cancer with most beauty products you use?
Cosmetics and personal care products are often applied to the skin or hair, the chemicals or additives in these products have the potential to be absorbed. Therefore, there has always been a question posed about the health risk these products cause. A potential association between some cosmetics and/or personal care products and cancer has been studied, but results appear to be mixed.
In 2008, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) analysed the epidemiologic and animal data for a potential association between personal hair dye use (including permanent, semi-permanent, and natural hair dyes) and cancer. IARC determined that personal use of hair dye is not classifiable as a human carcinogen, as there is inadequate evidence and limited evidence for carcinogenicity in humans and experimental animals, respectively.
Since then, several meta-analyses have been published that included studies conducted after the IARC review. A 2018 meta-analysis included 8 case-control studies conducted between 1980 and 2017, which found a modest increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who had ever used hair dyes
Some cancers are driven hormonally such as breast, prostate, ovarian & endometrial cancers. There are other personal care and beauty products that consist of smaller quantities of cancer-causing chemicals. A smaller dose being used every day, also may raise a concern relating to cancer.
Although there is no definitive connection to cancer, it is advised to be well-aware of what products you use. Being informed and taking necessary precautions is the right thing to do before using any product.
Here’s what you need to know…
Hair dye: Cancer risk uncertain
Most of the hair-dye products are said to have various chemicals that might cause cancer. Researchers are still analysing the possible link with cancer for decades now.
The National Cancer Institute says research on cancer and hair dye use is conflicting. This means that, it is still not clear if using hair dye, raises the risk of cancer.
Hair straightening products: Higher cancer risk for few
Some hair straightening and smoothing products are likely to have formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing chemical.
For people working in a beauty salon, it is important to be highly cautious as cancer risk is high for people exposed to formaldehyde at work place. The risk factor is higher when the product is applied, as this puts the stylists at a bigger risk.
It is best to take a precautionary approach and decrease exposure to known carcinogens,” Cohen says. Long term exposure and its health impact is unclear and under research.
Bath and personal care products: some can consist of endocrine disruptors
Do you know that some of the bath and personal care products you use, have harmful chemicals in them?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in 28% of all personal care products. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) found the same chemical in more than 40% of products labelled “natural.” This comprises of the shampoos we use, the soaps, body-firming and anti-aging lotions. Note: 1,4-dioxane is not listed on the product labels. Some chemicals that consist of 1,4-dioxane are:
- Polyethylene glycol
- Chemicals ending with –eth and –oxynol
Most of the product manufacturers have removed the known cancer-causing chemicals from baby care products, but adults are still at risk. A direct link between personal care products and cancer is not yet ascertained.
What comes in contact with one’s skin is absorbed into the circulatory system, potentially impacting the hormone and immune system.”
Endocrine disruptors are linked with altering the reproductive function in both men and women, bringing in abnormal growth patterns, neurodevelopment delays and increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Fragrances present in personal care products cover the odor of toxic chemicals and most of them contain EDCs, allergens and neurotoxins.
Check out 16 Toxic Chemicals that should be avoided in Cosmetics and Skincare products.
- Synthetic colors
- Chemicals in Sunscreens
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Make the right choice
It is very well said that beauty should not surpass health. Until there is proper research with facts, it is important that everyone does their bit of work by checking properly the product labels, ingredients, and the warnings listed and also try to avoid using these kind of products that may contain cancer causing chemicals.
If you can’t pronounce the ingredient and you don’t know what it is, you should proceed only with a caution and seek more information,” Cohen says.
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