Cosmetics, Personal Care Products Loaded with Chemicals
September 26, 2011

The entire cosmetic industry is in a buyer beware state of alert, thanks to the latest additions to the melting pot of chemicals and pollutants in skin care, above and beyond the usual parabens. Consumers are warned by experts to put on the watch list any makeup which contains synthetic coloring ingredients, emulsifiers, leads, copolymer, triclosan, and “urea as a preservative.” Also contributing to the chemical compounds are phthalates, formaldehyde, and petroleum.

Without proper regulations, especially regarding testing how chemicals react to one another in combinations, it is scary how quickly the industry has become a problem for women and men alike. Some lipsticks are loaded with lead. If you think it doesn’t matter because it’s just on your skin, think again. Deodorants and shampoo must also be included in the equation. There are plenty of solutions to the problem, but where do you begin?

Start by viewing the issues as long term consequences instead of short term benefits. In fact, there are critical trade offs when it comes to using products for beauty and hygiene that contain chemicals. Skin cancer can have roots, and the removal of them can leave scars on your nose or even around your mouth. Consumers shouldn’t count on “all natural” labels and similar advertisements because current regulations on the use of those buzzwords are almost non-existent.

In the United States, the personal care industry goes largely unregulated. For starters, the FDA has not set limits for lead in cosmetics unless the lead is used for color additives. Also many fragrances are synthetic. Ever heard of or seen on the ingredients list Diazolidinyl or Imidazolidinyl Urea? One does not have to pronounce them in order to find them on the ingredients list on the back of a box or bottle. Just set it down and keep looking.

Do not leave out the average man in the United States, who might easily put 6 to 8 personal care products on his skin repeatedly every 24 hours. Facial soaps, shampoo, conditioner and deodorants will likely contain at least one of 10 carcinogenic chemicals, and the combination of chemicals seep through the skin, into the bloodstream, creating havoc for healthy cells.

The Safe Cosmetic Act of 2010 uses terminology like aggregate exposure, vulnerable populations, and people with compromised immune systems, but it seems as though everybody fits into at least two categories. Are you still willing to take the same chances?

Synthetic colors are listed as D&C or FD&C, but even though these are regulated by the industry, they are still mostly derived from coal tar, which, when injected in lab mice, causes cancer. Many previously approved colors are now banned across the world because of known carcinogenic properties.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), the ingredient which provides that shiny, smooth, varnish look, comes at a steep price, and not just in dollars and cents. Banned in Europe, this dangerous toxin can pose a threat to the nervous system, even by simply inhaling the fumes. Women who sit and relax at salons and boutiques for hours on end might even feel intoxicated when they exit. Pregnant women especially beware. The long term effects include impaired fetal development and deformed male reproductive organs.

Triclosan is found in more than a handful of cosmetics, and now even in toothpaste, because it’s supposed to kill bacteria. Triclosan was initially developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals, and not for putting around your eyes or for scrubbing your teeth and gums daily, but somehow the FDA has approved it for general consumption.

Here come two more ingredients the average human being cannot pronounce. Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine, more easily recognized as DEA and TEA, used extensively for emulsifying products. Combine the two chemicals, and if you’re a scientist, you’re watching the lab rats die from cancerous tumors. The only “panel of experts” out there recommends you only use them in small doses, but what about the cumulative effect that builds up over time and from the laundry list of products that contain them?

Many synthetic nail colors, lipsticks, sunscreens and whitening toothpastes now contain lead and other metals. Titanium dioxide is found in concealers and even diaper ointments. Some metals are used for color, and certain kinds of lip glosses even contain aluminum compounds. The infamous D&C Red 6 may contain mercury and arsenic in addition to the lead. Also, zinc is used in moisturizers, which clogs pores, preventing them from breathing properly.

Petrolatum is basically petroleum and is commonly found in moisturizers. It forms an oily layer on the skin which blocks moisture evaporation. Just as aluminum in antiperspirants dangerously blocks and traps sweat, petroleum has adverse effects on skin; however, since it’s so cheap for makeup manufacturers, it’s even found in baby creams and wax depilatories.

Now in 2011, there are well over 200 ingredients under the umbrella term “fragrance,” and manufacturers are not required to disclose any of the actual ingredients in their formulas. Don’t lose hope though, because there are natural, non-toxic preservatives that are both safe and effective.

In the long term, you are saving a fortune when you buy truly natural and organic products in comparison to the health care costs of future treatments, including surgery from using toxins on your face and body. Along with consumer education comes the gradual phase out of the bad guys in the natural skin care industry. Word combinations like sodium lauryl sulfate aren’t so hard to pronounce anymore.




O coquetel de até 20 produtos químicos em um copo de leite

Adaptação Luis R. Miranda
Mail Online
07 julho de 2011

Um copo de leite pode conter uma mistura de até 20 analgésicos, antibióticos e hormônios de crescimento, os cientistas têm mostrado.

Usando um teste altamente sensível, eles encontraram uma grande quantidade de produtos químicos utilizados para tratar doenças em animais e pessoas nas amostras de leite de vaca de cabra, leite.

As doses dos medicamentos foram muito pequenas para ter um efeito sobre qualquer bebida, mas os resultados mostram como produtos químicos sintéticos estão agora invadem a cadeia alimentar.

A maioria das drogas são encontradas no leite de vaca.

Os investigadores acreditam que alguns dos medicamentos e hormônios de crescimento dado ao gado, se misturaram no leite através dos alimentos dados ao ou chegaram lá por contaminação em fazendas.

A equipe de cientistas da Espanha e Marrocos, analisaram 20 amostras de leite de vaca compradas em Espanha e Marrocos, juntamente com amostras de leite de cabra e de mama.

O relatório, publicado no Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, descobriu que o leite de vaca contém traços de anti-inflamatório ácido niflumic, ácido mefenâmico e cetoprofeno – comumente usado como analgésico em animais e humanos.

Veja a tabela com a lista de substâncias químicas encontradas no estudo

O leite analisado também contém o hormônio 17-beta-estradiol, uma forma de estrogênio, um hormônio sexual. O hormônio foi detectado em três milionésimos de um grama por quilo de leite, enquanto a dose mais elevada de ácido niflumico foi menos de um milionésimo de um grama por quilo de leite.

Os cientistas, liderados pelo Dr. Evaristo Ballesteros, da Universidade de Jaén, Espanha, dizem que sua técnica pode ser usada para verificar a segurança de outros tipos de alimentos.

Dr. Ballesteros disse: “Nós acreditamos que a nova metodologia vai ajudar a fornecer uma maneira mais eficaz de determinar a presença de contaminantes, para o leite e outros produtos.

Os laboratórios de controle de qualidade poderiam usar esta nova ferramenta para detectar as drogas antes de entrar na cadeia alimentar. Isso aumentaria a consciencialização dos consumidores e daria-lhes o conhecimento de que os alimentos são seguros …, autênticos, puros, benéficos para a saúde e livre de resíduos tóxicos “, acrescentou.

Os testes também descobriram o ácido niflumico em leite de cabra, assim como traços de analgésicos como ibuprofeno e naproxeno, juntamente com o antibiótico triclosan e alguns hormônios.

Os pesquisadores dizem que seu teste de 30 minutos novo é o mais sensível de seu tipo. Se as descobertas são verdadeiras para o leite espanhol e marroquino, os resultados também podem ser verdade para o leite produzido na Grã-Bretanha, no norte da Europa ou em qualquer outro lugar.
No ano passado, cientistas da Universidade de Portsmouth descobriram que os peixes estavam contaminados com o antidepressivo Prozac.

A droga entra nos rios da rede de esgotos e mexe com a química do cérebro de peixe, disseram os pesquisadores.

Estudos anteriores mostraram que cafeína é liberada na água depois de sobreviver ao processo de tratamento de águas residuais. O que outras substâncias podem sobreviver a este tratamento, além de cafeína?

Os hormônios em pílulas anticoncepcionais e terapia de reposição hormonal têm sido associados a feminização de peixes, levando a produção de ovos em peixes machos. Outras substâncias como bisfenol A, têm sido associadas a mudança de sexo em vários animais que se tornam hermafroditas ou as vezes ficam desinteressados em reprodução. Alguns neurologistas e outros médicos acreditam que estes químicos tem alguma coisa a ver com o aumento no numero de humanos homossexuais, que possam ter sido expostos aos químicos inclusive antes de nascer. Ao mesmo tempo, os médicos também acreditam que os hormônios influenciam o desenvolvimento prematuro nas fêmeas. Em alguns países, meninas de apenas 3 ou 4 anos de idade já mostram sinais de puberdade.

Cientistas de outras universidades de outros países também estão estudando os efeitos dos antibióticos, medicamentos para pressão arterial e outros usados para abaixar o colesterol em animais selvagens em todo o mundo.

Non-profit sues the FDA for failing to regulate chemicals in Antimicrobials

A nonprofit environmental group has sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, claiming the agency failed to regulate toxic chemicals found in “antimicrobial” soap and other personal care products.


The National Resources Defense Council alleges that two common ingredients, triclosan and triclocarban, can damage reproductive organs, sperm quality and the production of thyroid and sex hormones.

According to the suit, which also names U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a defendant, recent bio-monitoring results found “residues of triclosan in 75 percent of Americans over the age of 6.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday. Representatives of the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment, saying it was a matter of policy not to comment on lawsuits.

Plaintiffs contend that the FDA violated federal law in its delay over establishing safe conditions of use. More than 30 years ago, the agency first proposed to regulate such products for over-the-counter use, but they remain on the market and are unregulated, the group said.

“As a result of the FDA’s lengthy delay, consumers remain exposed to triclosan and triclocarban through a variety of over-the-counter drug products, such as antimicrobial hand soaps, that proliferate on the market,” the lawsuit stated.

The suit seeks an order requiring the FDA to finish its study on the conditions of use by a specific deadline.

No manufacturers or retailers were named as defendants or were cited in the lawsuit.

The FDA said in April it was reviewing the safety of triclosan. It noted there was no evidence it could be harmful to people and did not recommend changing consumer use of products that contain the agent.


The popularity of antimicrobial products has grown in recent years and the products are increasingly found in homes and offices, where germs can easily be passed from person to person.

The lawsuit cites various recent studies that associate the chemicals with a host of health risks, from lower thyroid hormone levels to the disruption of testosterone production.

In 1978, according to the lawsuit, the FDA proposed to ban from interstate commerce both triclosan and triclocarban either six months or two years after publication of its final study, but no action was taken until 1994, when some ingredients were reclassified.

Healthcare antiseptics containing these chemicals remained on the market and increased in prevalence” since 1994, the lawsuit said.

The National Resources Defense Council said it had met with the FDA to try to hasten the study, to no avail.

Responding to a letter from U.S. Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts in February, the FDA said it could not give a specific timeline, but said it was “working diligently” to publish the proposed rule. It also cited a lack of long-term data regarding potential health effects from exposure to the toxins.

The case is National Resources Defense Council v. USDA et al, 10 CIV 5690.