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Hazardous chemicals found in your personal care products

Friday, August 12, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: personal care products, chemicals, health news

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(NewsTarget) These days it seems to be the norm for people to be odour-free and perspiration-free and to boast flawless skin and looks. This is often made possible with the use of a host of so-called personal `care` products. Chemical ingredients found in most of these products have been associated with cancer as well as a host of other illnesses and medical conditions including blindness and even death.

Many people are under the impression that because they are `using it on the outside,` they won't be absorbing any of the chemicals into their bodies. Unfortunately whatever is applied to our hair or skin will be absorbed into the body and organs.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulphate is used as a cheap foaming agent in shampoos and many other personal care products. This harsh chemical has been known to affect the protein structure in children's eyes, leading to incomplete eye development. It is a proven skin irritant and is linked to the formation of cataracts. Because it is absorbed through the skin into the body, it is able to penetrate internal organs such as the brain, liver and heart. The nitrates and nitrites found in SLS are also known carcinogens (cancer-causers). SLS impedes hair growth because of the fact that it damages hair follicles. This can in turn lead to hair loss. It has also been linked to damage of the immune system and may also be responsible for altering genetic information in cells.

Phthalates are another highly toxic chemical found in at least 75% of personal care products. This chemical, also found in plastic products, is able to mimic the role of oestrogen, causing the body to develop symptoms such as PMS, fibroids and fibrocystic breast disease. It has also been known to lower sperm count in men and to damage the adrenal glands, kidneys and liver. Musk products also need to be avoided, as they have been linked to female infertility and disruption of the hormonal system.

Triclosan is another ingredient which needs to be avoided. This so-called antibacterial ingredient not only destroys germs and bad bacteria, but it also kills off the good bacteria needed to keep our immune system healthy. The inclusion of this ingredient in many hand wash products and dish detergents has actually led to the formation of highly resistant strains of bacteria, also known as superbugs.

When used externally, Triclosan can lead to skin irritations. Its use has also been reported to temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings in the body. If taken internally (no matter how small the amount), it can cause convulsions, collapse of the circulatory system, coma, cold sweats and even death. Long-term use of products containing this chemical (which is actually classified as a pesticide product) can lead to liver and kidney damage, hormonal disruption, suppression of the immune system, heart and lung damage, sterility, brain haemorrhaging and even paralysis.

Once absorbed, these hazardous chemical products are extremely difficult to eliminate from the body, so care should be taken to ensure that you do not use any product containing these chemical ingredients.



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here

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