THE STORY OF COSMETICS
But isn’t it better living?
In the 1950s government subsidies helped companies gure out how to process oilbyproducts into synthetic chemicals and resins to make all sorts o wonder (what’s-in-it)products rom plastics to make-up. Billions o tons o synthetic substances that neverexisted in nature beore were released into the environment with little understandingo their impacts on people, wildlie and the ecosystem. Now, every baby on Earth iscontaminated with man-made toxins beore they are even born. Mountains o scienticevidence implicate chemical exposures in modern-dayhealth afictions such as breast cancer, testicular cancer,childhood cancers, learning disabilities, autism, asthma,inertility, birth deects, Attention Decit Disorder andother diseases that have been rising in recent decades.That doesn’t exactly sound like better living, now does it?But there is a better way! Green chemistry is the scienceo guring out how to design products and processes inways that minimize or eliminate hazardous substances. Inthe 21st century, all chemistry should be green chemistry. http://www.beyondbenign.org/
But it’s just a little bit, right?
The companies argue that each product contains only low levels o toxic chemicals – it’sjust a little carcinogen in the baby shampoo, and a little more in the bubble bath, bodywash, diaper cream, toys, ood, water, air … yikes! I this sounds a little crazy, that’sbecause it is. There are a ew things wrong with the industry’s “low toxic doses areOK” argument. First, low doses are adding up; the average woman is exposed to overa hundred cosmetic chemicals a day, and many o these toxic exposures have similarmechanisms o action in the body (i.e., dozens o chemicals that act like estrogen).Secondly, low doses do matter: even the tiniest amounts o some substances can causeharm (think lead paint chips); and some chemicals are more problematic at lower dosesthan higher ones. For example, small doses o hormone-disrupting chemicals basicallyact like a key in a lock, turning hormone signals on and o – yes, the same signals thatdirect important bodily unctions such as reproductive capacity. Third, chemical riskassessments typically study just one chemical at a time, rather than considering thepotential or enhanced toxicity o chemical mixtures – even though evidence suggeststhat some chemicals can exponentially increase each other’s health impacts, http://saecosmetics.org/article.php?id=295.The bottom line: companies are not studying the long-term health impacts o repeatedexposures to the chemical mixtures typically ound in cosmetics – in other words, theyhave no idea about the real health risks o these products.