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Toxic Chemicals In Cosmetics

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Biology
Wordcount: 2389 words Published: 12th May 2017

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Toxic chemicals could be found in our foods, our personal care products, the air we breathe, in the work place and the water we drink every time are destroying the health of billions of people. We must ask ourselves; why is the rate of progressive and metabolic disease flying out of control. Everyday everyone reaches for shower gel, hand wash, shampoos and conditioner, deodorant and moisturizer. And of course most of women use eye shadow, mascara, and lipstick, and then maybe bit on a nail polish and perfume. We look good, we smell good, and we have just exposed ourselves to over hundreds of different chemicals. Most people do not know about the toxicity of whatever you are putting on your skin. When we get a prescription or even an over-the-counter drug on the market, a manufacturer must first prove the drug is safety and effectiveness to the food and drug management. The liability of proof rests on industry. That is not the case for cosmetics, except for a handful of banned chemicals, manufacturers can add almost any ingredients to those revitalizing eye creams, vitamin-stuffed conditioners, and kiss-resistant lipsticks, and if questions about the safety of products arise, the liability is on the government to prove the product is unsafe. The law governing cosmetics says that they may not contain harmful substances they say you do not know? But how the tests for the harmful or unsafe substances will be conducted is left up to the companies themselves. Companies test cosmetics for their propensity to cause allergic reactions and irritate skin people started to demonstrate against using animals for all kind of these tests have led many companies to do them in test tubes and on human subjects or other tests. As for the possible long-term effects of inconvenience to cosmetic ingredients and not all the chemicals can pass through the skin, however many ingredients in cosmetic as we all know creams are designed to sit on the surface of the skin, helping to keep the skin moist and soft by holding in water and also many ingredients in personal care products, such as fatty acids, are identical to chemicals that occur naturally in the human body. Most ingredients we have come across in our everyday life in cosmetics are fairly no threatening compounds. But there is a doubtful class of chemicals in cosmetics that may be absorbed through the skin. These are the colour flavours, derived from petroleum, known as coal tars. Coal tar colours they are also found in foods, like the mini chocolates M&Ms are the single group of ingredients in cosmetics required to be tested for safety reasons. This day’s most people dye their hair without realizing what will happen afterwards, it is found out by Scientists that the cosmetic products are tarnished hair dyes with suspected cancer causing; ingredients are not required to carry warning labels. I am going explain it in details about dyeing hair below; products often list fragrances, which can contain up to at least a few hundred different compounds, many hazardous or otherwise toxic, but the label only says they contain a fragrance. And while cosmetic makers must put the list of ingredients are used in a single products and they are not required to conduct pre market safety tests.

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Dyeing hair:


Hair dyes derived from coal tars are mostly exempt from national rules. And coal tars is a sticky black liquid containing various organic compounds that is obtained by the destructive distillation of coal and used as a dyes, roofing, waterproofing, and insulating compound and as a raw material for many, drugs and paints. Women who use different dyes for many years might increase their risk of dying from cancer. These remaining dyes have been so widely tested that has very high confidence that they are safe. But actually not everyone is so sure about it. So the best choice is avoiding the colour flavours whenever possible. Many are energetic molecules that can interact with Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA), potentially causing mutations that lead to cancer. So that hair dyes derived from coal tars do not have to meet the standards people think these products may not be harmful under normal use. Therefore on hair dye points out, compounds suspected of causing cancer are found in temporary, semi-permanent and permanent dyes. The epidemiological studies are mostly encouraging that dye users had a slightly lower rate of mortal cancers than women who did not colour or dye their hair. But there is one exception; women who used any type of hair dye for two decades or more had a four times greater risk of dying from two cancers of the immune system, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

1.2 Advantage of Foam and Bubbles:

Enjoying a shampoo with rich foam.

Shaving using cream that really foam a lot.

Relaxing in a hot tub full of bubbles.

After all these may seem like such a simple life, innocent desire, until you look at what is causing all that foam? Most the time when we buy personal care products i.e. Shampoo, shower gel, hand wash and etc….. Once you find out what is made of or what is in their ingredients? You may decide it is not so simple or enjoyable after all. So always everybody should check the labels of your shampoo, soap, shaving cream or shaving foam and shower gel. Do you see either Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) listed on those items that are listed above? Or one of their close family; Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Myreth Sulphate, etc. If yes, then you really need to think about it. Most manufacturers use these anionic detergents because they really produce a lot of foam very reasonably. But (SLS) is so strong and it is also used to scrub stained floors, garage floors and other cleaning purposes. Now the worse thing is; it has been proven to cause cancer in the long term. The scientists discovered that (SLS) stays in the body up to five days. Other studies show it easily penetrates the skin and enters and maintains outstanding levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain. But still (SLS) is found in most cleansing, foaming products even in some toothpaste. But also we have to remember that (SLS) may be concealed in to all intents and purposes a natural cosmetic with qualified explanation comes from coconut. Therefore we have to save the coconut from smear of character.

1.3 Disadvantage of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS):


(SLS) can penetrate eyes and tissues very easily; Tests show that (SLS) can penetrate into the eyes as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver, etc.) and shows long-term maintenance in those tissues. Especially when used in shampoo’s and soaps, there is an immediate concern relating to the penetration of (SLS) into the eyes and other tissues. This is especially important in children where considerable growth is occurring, because a much greater application occurs by tissues of younger eyes, and (SLS) changes the amounts of some proteins in cells from eye tissues. Tissues of young eyes may be more susceptible to alteration by (SLS).

(SLS) also forms Nitrates; when (SLS) is used in shampoos, cleanser products and many other products containing nitrogen-based ingredients, it can form carcinogenic nitrates that can enter the blood stream in large numbers. They can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions as well.

(SLS) strips Moisture and oil form the skin; according to the Dermatology (SLS) produced; skin and hair damage, including cracking and severe irritation of the derma-epidermal tissue. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein-denaturing properties.

(SLS) can irritate scalp and may promote hair loss day by day.

The most common chemicals in cosmetics that they are not good for all of us. Some can cause allergic reactions or others are toxic, and some can cause cancer. Which chemicals might you want to avoid in your cosmetics and personal care products. The most important thing is we must check every single personal care that we use every time. We must look out for these chemical names that are mentioned above when purchasing any personal product cares.

2 Antibacterial:

Antibacterial i.e. Triclosan are found in many personal product cares; such as hand washes, soaps, deodorants, toothpastes and shower gel. Health Hazards; some of the antibacterial are absorbed through the skin. These chemicals may be toxic or carcinogenic and some antibacterial are secreted in breast milk. One study has found these chemicals may interfere with the functioning of testosterone in cells. Antibacterial can kill the good protective bacteria as well as pathogens, actually increasing vulnerability to infection. The products may increase the rate of development of resistant strains of bacteria.

2.1 Butyl acetate:

The Butyl acetate is found in nail-strengtheners and nail polishes; Health Hazards; Butyl acetate vapours may cause dizziness or drowsiness. People who continue to use of these products containing butyl acetate they will cause skin to crack and become dry.

2.2 Butylated hydroxytoluene:

The Butylated hydroxytoluene is found in a variety of cosmetics and personal product cares; that are used in every day life it is an antioxidant which helps slow the rate at which a product changes colour over time. Health Hazards; Butylated hydroxytoluene may cause skin and eye irritation.

2.3 Coal tar:


Coal tar is used to control itching and scaling, to soften the skin, and as a colorant. Health Hazards; Coal tar is a human carcinogen.

2.4 Diethanolamine (DEA):


Diethanolamine is a contaminant associated with Cocamide DEA and Lauramide DEA, which are used as emulsifiers and foaming agents in products such as shaving creams or shaving foam, shampoos, shower gels, moisturizers, and baby washes. Health Hazards; DEA can be absorbed into the body through the skin easily. It can act as a carcinogen and can be converted to nitrosamine, which is also carcinogenic. DEA is a hormone disruptor and robs the body of choline needed for brain development.

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3 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

USA controlled chemical substances largely and then followed by the European model having both a chemical policy for chemical substances; the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). It controls toxic waste by setting emission, quality and waste handling standards to protect food, the workplace, air and soil from toxic excesses. Therefore the (TSCA) came into power in 1976. It was designed to enable powers to be brought into strength to obtain data on the effects of chemical substances and mixtures on health and the environment safety.

3.1 Toxic Cyanobacteria and other Water-related Health Problems:

Drinking water from metal pipes has been major problems over centuries, from contamination of water resources and drinking water supplies by human excreta remains a major human health concern, the important thing about the toxic substances, such as metals and synthetic organic compounds, and has only developed in the latter half of the twentieth century. And also eutrophication has been recognised as a growing concern since the 1950s; only recently have Cyanobacterial toxins become widely recognised as a human health problem arising as a consequence of eutrophication. A significant proportion of cyanobacteria produce one or more of a range of strong toxins. Containing high concentrations of toxic cyanobacteria in water, or their toxins is downed in drinking water or accidentally during recreation therefore human health will be at risk. Some of Cyanobacterial Substances can cause skin irritation, if they will come contact with the skin.

3.2 The deadly toxins in our foods:

Leaving aside the organic or non-organic discuss, the greater revelation we have to pre-packaged and ready-made meals the more vulnerable we are to two particularly dangerous chemicals: monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Dr Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The taste that kills, warns us of the hazards of these deadly toxins. MSG, famed for ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ is also a flavour enhancer that is added to crisps, packet soups and other processed foods. The effect of MSG in the body has been linked to a large number of diseases such as lupus, cancer, strokes, chronic hepatitis, nervous system infections and neuro-degenerative diseases.8 Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in diet drinks and food, soft drinks and sweets has been linked to cancers, headaches, migraines and hyperactivity.

3.3 Orange TKO: An amazing natural cleaner that is safe for family and the environment.

Still most of household cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals. Typical household cleaners, including floor cleaning, window cleaners, bathroom tile cleaners, toilet cleaners and kitchen cleaning products, are frequently filled up with toxic chemicals. These chemicals include benzene-based chemical solvents many of these chemicals mentioned above which can cause cancer, artificial fragrances, artificial colours and etc.

In fact, the cleaning products aisle of a typical grocery store is a tour of toxicity featuring chemicals that can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disorders, kidney problems, reproductive disorders and much more. Use of these products in your house long enough and you must finding yourself suffering from on of these disease. So why not everybody should get natural cleaning for any household cleaning purposes.

3.4 Conclusion:

From now on everybody should have at least some idea about Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics; for example what kind of personal product care we are using in every day life. We all should check any kind of personal care before purchasing to minimize risk of different type of disease that we can get from them.


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