Many of the cosmetics and household products in the market contain harmful chemicals. A handful of studies has identified these chemicals present in everyday products, from cosmetics to food packaging.
While many of these chemicals don’t pose too much danger in small quantities, long-term and repeated exposure can lead to more critical health issues.
Here are the four common chemicals that were identified and you should be more aware of.
Food is the common source of phthalate exposure, although not intentionally added as an ingredient. Phthalate can be found on plastic tubes, gloves, and food containers and can contaminate the food that you eat.
Phthalates are a class of synthetic chemicals that are known to cause hormonal disruptions if ingested or inhaled. It is colorless and odorless with an oily consistency. Scientists found that exposure to phthalates has been explicitly linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in several studies. Hormonal disruption can also affect the reproductive and immune systems, including the prenatal brain development.
Known as “the everywhere chemicals”, phthalates are found in hundreds of consumer products that people use every day, including food containers, cosmetics, and personal care products. They are also found in some children’s toys, making their potential health risks a bit more concerning.
According to an article on Insider, a new study published in Environmental Pollution on October 12, 2021 found that exposure to phthalates was linked to premature deaths, especially deaths caused by heart disease.
The study analyzed data from more than 5,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 64. The results suggest that those with the highest level of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die earlier than expected, especially of heart-related causes.
List of common products that contain Phthalates:
- Personal care products (like soap, shampoo, and conditioner)
- Food wraps and containers
- Household cleaners
- Children’s toys
- Vinyl flooring and wall coverings
- Medical devices
- PVC plumbing
Phthalates in Shampoos
Phthalates are commonly added in shampoos and conditioners to create a creamy texture. They are used as “gelling agents” to achieve a thick consistency that makes these haircare products richer. Phthalates are also used to make the fragrance of these haircare products last longer.
Bisphenol A, more commonly referred to as BPA, is another ingredient with similar properties as phthalates. Both make plastic materials more durable and bendable.
Like phthalates, BPA is used in food containers and packaging products. It can contaminate the food or drinks put into it, especially when heated in the microwave. BPA has been linked to certain conditions like obesity, increased risk of breast cancer, and other reproductive health-related issues.
Do you wonder how you can tell whether a container is likely to contain BPA or phthalates? A simple tip is to look for the number at the bottom of a plastic product or container, usually with indication of a recycling sign. Items numbered 3, 6, and 7 are most likely to contain these harmful chemicals.
In our previous article “Ditching Chemical-Based Haircare Products for Healthier Hair and Ocean”, we’ve identified parabens as one of the most harmful chemicals that can damage marine life.
Parabens are a group of chemicals typically used as preservatives for cosmetic and personal care products. You can find them on the ingredients list of everyday products like shampoos, soaps, body washes and the likes. The chemical paraben keeps molds and bacteria from growing in these products to prolong their shelf lives.
According to researchers, even a small amount of paraben can pass through the skin and into the body, and that can cause major health problems. They found that parabens can mimic estrogen, an important hormone involved in the reproductive functions of people. In response, the body may produce less estrogen, disrupting the normal function of the reproductive system.
Exposure to parabens has also been linked to cancer risk, fertility problems, and skin irritation.
Three of the most common paraben ingredients to look out for are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. The best way to avoid parabens is to check your product’s ingredients and make sure none of these names are listed. Brands like ours – Shiny Leaf – have prioritized customers’ safety by making our formulas paraben-free.
Other ingredients we included in the list of ingredients that are bad for marine life were sulfates, hexane, and silicones. Read the full article to find out how these ingredients affect the oceans and what are the great alternatives you can use.
Similar to parabens, PFAS have been a hot topic when it comes to maintaining cleaner water and acquiring potential health risks.
PFAS is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a diverse group of man-made chemicals used in various consumer and industrial products. They can be found in water-resistant fabrics, cleaning products, paints, and fire-resistant foams. Certain types are allowed for limited use in food packaging and cookware products too.
Because PFAS are slow to break down, they have the ability to remain intact in the environment. That means over time, it can result to increased levels of environmental contamination. Accumulation of PFAS were also seen through blood tests in both humans and animals. If they linger in the human body for many years, PFAS are said to cause health problems like cancer, hormone imbalances, and fertility issues – very similar to parabens.
PFAS are nicknamed “forever chemicals” because of their ability to resist degradation. They are very common in products touted as long-lasting or waterproof such as mascara and other makeup products.
Avoiding Chemicals in Haircare Products - We Got Your Back
Here at Shiny Leaf, we create products that we use ourselves. That’s why safety, aside from effectivity, is one our main objectives.
Our mission has always been to provide high-quality products that give you the best care, without compromising your health. We protect our customers like we protect ourselves and our families.
Head on to our products page now and see the best products that suit your needs. We got products for hair loss, hair growth, anti-aging skincare, skin nourishment, and wellness.
Our shampoos, conditioners, oils, supplements and other personal care essentials are made free from harmful ingredients. Phthalates, BPA, parabens, and PFAS are major no-nos in our advanced formulas.
As a bonus guide, here’s a list of tips for keeping these toxic chemicals out of your home:
- Use unscented cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, and cleansers.
- Use glass, ceramic, wood, or metallic food storage containers.
- Buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of preserved or canned goods.
- Avoid plastic products labeled as No. 3, No. 6, or No. 7.
- Avoid using plastics when heating food in a microwave.