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Phthalates

Top cosmetic and personal care chemicals that cause hormonal disruption

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 by: Danna Norek
Tags: phthalates, cosmetics, hormone disruption

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(NaturalNews) The products we use to improve our personal appearance are often extremely harmful to our natural balance of hormones. There are several commonly used ingredients that can be found in everything from body and face lotions to cosmetics and shaving creams which are known endocrine disruptors.

These ingredients can alter hormonal chemistry in a couple of ways. They can increase circulation of certain hormones by mimicking their activity in the body, or they can reduce the level of sex hormones in the body or block their activity. This can impact fertility, lead to early menopause and influence things like mood, length and severity of the menstrual cycle in women.

Phthalates linked to infertility, early menopause

Phthalates are a family of chemicals that are used in most artificially scented products on the market today. This includes air fresheners, scented body products like lotions and of course most commercial perfumes. They are used to help stabilize the fragrance chemicals.

They are commonly used to soften plastics. They are also found in products such as hair straighteners, hairsprays, and nail polish. A recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that all 289 participants in the study had phthalates present in their urine.

Studies have concluded that phthalates likely contribute to early-onset menopause and may also contribute to infertility in women and men. They can have a definite impact on the natural hormones circulating in the body, and have shown the ability to reduce circulating sex hormones.

In other words, they tamper with your body's natural ability to control its natural balance of female and male sex hormones. Some of the ways you may see phthalates on the ingredient label are as di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di(2-ehtylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).

The "amine" family of chemicals

You've likely seen offshoots of this popular chemical additive in the ingredient list of products purchased in the past. They can be found as diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), amonoethanolamine (MEA) on the ingredient label.

These chemicals are often used as an emulsifier for stable mixtures, as a foaming agent in bar and liquid soaps and shampoos, and also as a preservative for long shelf life. They are not only linked to hormonal disruption, but they are also linked to liver and kidney cancer and are corrosive to the delicate eye tissue.

Nonylphenol or nonylphenol ethoxylates

These chemicals are found in many commercial hair colors and dyes as well as in laundry detergent and household cleaners. They can usually be found on the ingredient label as 4-nonylphenol, an alkylphenol. These chemicals act like female estrogen in the body and can throw both the male and female body out of their natural hormone balance.

Parabens

Parabens are preservatives that are present in many body and hair care products. This family of chemicals is found on the ingredient label with the prefixes of "methyl," "ethyl," "propyl" and "butyl." Parabens are a well known endocrine disruptor with a documented history of causing hormonal issues because of their ability to mimic the female hormone, estrogen.

Triclosan

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that was added to specially formulated soaps and hand sanitizers specifically marketed for antibacterial use. They are highly disruptive to the human endocrine system and several links to cancer have also been raised over the past several years.

Thankfully, a lot of products have yanked this from their formulations, but it is still one to watch out for in your ingredient labels. Also, it is important to note that normal soap and warm water will kill bacteria just as effectively.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.healthychild.org
http://www.greenlivingonline.com/article/six-makeup-chemicals-avoid
http://www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/endocrine100903.cfm

About the author:
Danna Norek founded AuraSensory.com. Product line includes an MSM & Vitamin C Ester Hydrating & Brightening Face Cream and all natural plumping Hyaluronic Acid Serum (greatly increases skin's moisture retention), Sulfate Free Natural Shine Enhancing Shampoo and Deep Hydration Conditioner, a very effective natural deodorant, and other body care. Visit to learn more about what chemicals & ingredients to avoid in your beauty and personal care products at AuraSensory.com .

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