Oct 04, 2011 - 1:54 pm
I know many of us are trying to reduce the risk factors in our lives to help our bodies fight cancer or to keep ourselves in remission. One area, that I think does not get the attention it deserves is beauty products and hair coloring. I received this information in an e-mail today regarding risks for breast cancer, but I think it pertains to all of us:
Many chemicals, however, are much more common and daily exposure can be routine. In his book, Exposed, Mark Shapiro makes the case:
...the sheer abundance of toxins to which women are routinely exposed - through cosmetics as well as numerous other products - prompted the Breast Cancer Fund, a nonprofit group of health-care advocates, to assert that as many as one-half of new breast cancer cases cannot be explained by known risk factors, such as genetic predisposition, smoking, or estrogen hormone-replacement therapies. The group claims that chemicals may be a significant contributing factor. A study by the University of Southern California School of Medicine concluded that women who use hair dyes at least once a month for a year are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than women who do not; those who use it for fifteen years or longer face triple risk. The Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute cautions that some substances in cosmetics mimic the female hormone estrogen, and that such additives in hair-care products may be contributing to otherwise inexplicable incidences of breast cancer among African American women (the primary users of such hair treatments) under the age of forty. Other common substances in cosmetics include what a growing number of scientists suggest may be endocrine-disrupting chemicals, mutagens, and reproductive toxins.
So in March 2005, when the seventh amendment to the EU's [European Union] Cosmetics Directive (originally passed in 1976) came into force, requiring that all "products intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body" would henceforth be subject to scientific review, a message came out of every bottle and tube. The mystery behind beauty products' magic was laid bare: Cosmetics are far more dependent on synthetic chemicals than on natural "essences" of anything. The seventh amendment mandates that chemicals determined to be carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxins - known collectively as CMRs - be removed from cosmetics sold in Europe.