Cancer Dangers in Lotions, Shampoos, Sunscreens and Conditioners
by Linda Chae
October is Cancer Awareness month and we should begin to educate ourselves about
some of the potential causes. It is so much easier to prevent than to cure.
Thirty-five years ago, I became acutely aware of the chemicals in cosmetics and
their link to various forms of cancer. My mother-in-law died of breast cancer
and many of my early salon clientele were cancer survivors. During that time, I
discovered that what I thought were ‘natural’ products actually contained
carcinogenic ingredients. It was from “One Promise made to One Woman” dying of
cancer that my mission to prevent the use of toxic ingredients began (you can
read my full story in The Soul of Success, by Jennifer Hawthorn, author of
Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul).
About two years ago, Jeanne Rizzo, executive director of the Breast Cancer Fund,
said, “People are putting chemicals on and into our bodies every day, through
use of shampoo, deodorant, face cream, hairspray and all of the other bottles,
jars and cans that fill our bathrooms. Chemicals linked to cancer and birth
defects do not belong in these products…period.”
“When it comes to cosmetics, we shouldn’t be forced to choose between health and
beauty. Personal care products should be free of chemicals linked to cancer and
birth defects,” states USA Today.
Chronic diseases such as cancer, MS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
seemed to have escalated far more rapidly than the rate of population growth.
More and more evidence indicates that the reasons MAY be the chemicals found in
personal care products --- ingredients that are banned in Europe and Japan, yet
allowed in the U.S.
What are these chemicals?
The ingredient labels on many of the products we use sound like a chemical lab
rather than items from your bathroom. Because of years of sustained use, some of
the synthetic ingredients turn the most common lotions, shampoos, conditioners,
facial crèmes or blush into a chemical cocktail include:
• Fragrance, PEG (usually followed by a number or even a natural sounding
• FD&C colors (these are coal tar derived)
• DEA, TEA, MEA
• Parabens (xeno-estrogens)
• Sunscreens such as benzopnenones (avobenzone, dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)
• and many more
Also preservatives that contain free formaldehyde and described as very toxic
and potentially carcinogenic including:
• Imidazolidinyl urea
• Diadiazolidinyl urea
• DMDM (Dimethylol Dimethol) Hydantoin)
Medical research, including research from Brunnell University (England), Tufts
University, Boston Research Center, and Centers of Disease Control (U.S.) have
found these chemicals absorb through the skin and often remain in fat tissue for
indefinite periods of time. Perhaps the most dramatic recent example was the
revelation that Parabens – chemicals used as preservatives in most personal care
products – were found in breast tumors. Yet the cosmetic industry declares that
these toxic chemicals are only in products in just trace amounts. Sort of like,
one cigarette won’t cause lung cancer!!!
Surely the Government protects us!
Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug
Administration) which does NOT have the authority to approve ingredients or
restrict the use of chemicals that are known to have detrimental side effects.
After lobbying for 5 years in Congress, I am pleased that California has passed
Senate Bill 484, The California Safe Cosmetic Act, which will ban ingredients
suspected of being carcinogenic. Other States will soon follow.
How do these chemicals get into our body?
Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and what we put on it is directly
absorbed into the body . . . with every use! Skin Absorption is the number one
form of chemical absorption and contamination. The skin is NOT an impenetrable
shield. It absorbs more than most of us realize. Since the skin is also the
largest elimination organ, it cannot keep up with the body’s attempt to rid
itself of these harmful toxins when constantly assaulted by them. The
consequences of this bombardment become evident with increased skin irritation,
itching, inflammation and the appearance of acne, rosacea, brown spots, saggy
skin, wrinkles and fine lines to name a few.
Well, I use ‘natural’ products from the health food store!
We are led to believe that products which claim to be ‘natural’ or are found in
the health food stores are safe. The reality is that many such products are
chemically based, with an array of natural ingredients added to make the product
label look good. Others seem pretty good, but still contain chemical
preservatives that can do harm.
So what can you do?
Avoiding the use of these suspected ingredients is believed to help prevent
cancer and the re-occurrence of cancer. This has not been easy as most labs and
ingredient suppliers either extract or preserve their ingredients with items
from the above list. Check out websites such as: www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep2
to find out about product brands you may be using, and the explanation about
Learn to read labels. Always look for the “Certified ToxicFree® Product Seal”.
These products are free of all known toxins, carcinogens and hormone disrupting
ingredients. Such pure products help the skin and body detoxify; thus the
process of repair and regeneration occurs more rapidly returning the homeostasis
to a healthy state. And, natural, organic ToxicFree products out-perform those
made of chemicals, while at the same time, putting the ‘health’ back into health
Organics, Inc. to view toxic free products.
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Copyright © Chaé Organics, Inc. 2006
About the Author: Linda Chaé is a prominent researcher, formula consultant,
educator and consumer advocate. She has met with many Congressional Leaders and
Health Committee Members in Washington D.C., fighting for ‘Your Right to Know’
legislation, and to protect the public from unsafe chemicals in products. Check
out the natural organic skin care products Linda has created that are guaranteed
to improve your appearance in 30 days!
To read more about issues mentioned in this article, visit
Chae Organics, Inc.
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