According to Canadian scientists writing in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, women exposed to synthetic fibers and petroleum products in the course of their work appear to be most at risk of breast cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants before she reaches her mid-30s could triple a woman’s risk after menopause.
Now comes news from ChemicalSafeSkincare.co.uk that women unknowingly apply up to 175 different chemicals to their bodies daily in the form of mainstream cosmetics. As a result, manufacturers of natural “personal care” products are calling on makers of mainstream cosmetics to provide more information on their products’ ingredients and side effects.
ChemicalSafeSkincare says three ingredients are especially hazardous. Parabens (preservatives used in many moisturizers and body creams) have been linked to both cancer and to skin irritation. Sodium lauryl sulfate (a foaming agent used in shampoos) can irritate the skin, as can formaldehyde (used in hand soap and shampoo). “Media reports about the possible dangers of certain chemicals such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates and formaldehyde have made consumers more aware of what they are buying, and potentially more demanding of chemical safe alternatives,” says Julia Mitchell, spokeswoman for ChemicalSafeSkincare.co.uk.