Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Day 70- What goes in and what goes on
Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used in cosmetics and beauty products. While there is no proven link (yet) parabens are apparently found in small amounts in breast cancer tumors and like soy, parabens have an estrogen effect. Yet again this is an ingredient that is found in just about everything you will find in your bathroom. If you put something on your skin it is probably absorbed. The FDA says parabens are OK and safe to use. Here is a pretty good list of paraben-free products and it also talks about some other ingredients such as phthalates and SLS (sulfates). I say buyer beware and you might want to look for less chemical laden products especially for children. It seems that fragrance-free products may be a little better but not totally free of these chemicals.
Para-dichlorobenzene or p-DCB is found in air fresheners and toilet bowl cleaners. In animal studies, p-DCB has shown a link to liver and kidney cancer. Clorox Green Works and Seventh Generation products are good choices for the bathroom.
Phthalates are a type of chemical used in makeup and lotions and well as nail polish. Phthalates also have an estrogen effect and may be associated with early puberty. Phthalates are banned in Europe and in the U.S. are banned in child's toys.
I found a really nice grapefruit scented body lotion from Noah's Naturals at Walmart that is paraben-free. Kiss My Face and Burt's Bees products are generally paraben, phthalate and sulfate free. The Burt's Bees website gives a very good explanation of "natural" products.
I was reading the November issue of All You magazine and there is a good article on this topic if you want to read more- you can pick it up at Walmart.
To check if your favorite home product or cosmetic is certified "natural" check the NPA seal website.