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PHTHALATES found in Skin Care & Cosmetic Products… Possible Dangers of Exposure.


I can’t believe it!

There has been evidence mounting for years through various scientific studies that Phthalates, known endocrine disruptors, found in many products, particularly personal care and cosmetics, fragrances and pacifiers are affecting semen quality, the male reproductive organs and have been found to cause genital malformations in baby boys…

Professor Niels Skakkebaek, Research Director, Copenhagen University Hospital, in exhaustive studies, after what seemed to be a spike in the incidence of testicular cancer and sterility, found semen quality has reduced by 50% in the past 50 years. A 1996 Danish report cited testicular cancer rates had risen 400% in 60 years.

The professor was severely criticized and so sent all his data to researcher Professor Shanna Swan, Epidemiologist, Rochester University, USA, to repeat the studies. With 3 people working for 4 months the results were almost identical to the Danish findings.
Professor Swan is quoted in the documentary “Men in Danger” as saying “there are 85,000 chemicals in commerce, most of which we know nothing about …. Their effects on carcinogenic potential, metabolism, immune system and reproductive potential…”

The studies relating to the feminization of wildlife exposed to estrogen chemicals and compounds may effect breast growth and lactation and could have a role in uterine disease such as fibroids and endometriosis, according to McLachlan, Simpson and Martin of Tulane and Xavier universities in their 2006 study (1)

Professor Lou Guillette, Zoologist of University of Florida, in 2 studies repeated a year apart, phthalates in low concentrations,( parts per trillion) found the chemicals caused sex reversal in fish and amphibians.

Mexico’s National Institute of public Health led by researcher Lizbeth Lopez-Carrillo found correlation between the concentrations of certain Phthalate metabolites in the urine of breast cancer victims.
Monoethyl Phthalate (MEP) was found in higher concentrations of the 233 patients with cancer than the 221 women tested who were without the disease. This suggests MEP and other phthalates induces DNA damage. It was found that certain phthalate compounds alter gene expression without altering the genetic code itself.

Baby care products were the focus of studies by the University of Washington, led by researcher Sheela Sathyanarayana. Urine samples from babies who had baby lotion, shampoo and powder used on their skin showed the significant presence of phthalates Monoethyl phthalate (MEP) (MMP) and monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP)
“These findings suggest that dermal exposures may contribute significantly the phthalate body burden in this population” concluded the researchers.

And still the chemical and cosmetic industry claim there is not enough scientific evidence to be concerned and therefore no danger to humans from these chemicals.
I can’t avoid thinking about the Tobacco Industry fiasco where the cigarette manufactures refused to admit there could be something sinister regarding the incidences of lung cancer linked to cigarette smoking!

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So the facts are:

Scientific studies from researchers world wide find absorption of chemicals impact adversely on animals of many species, from mammals, fish and amphibians.
Various other studies find these same chemicals are absorbed by people of all ages. There is not yet enough data to convince authorities, (or they are lobbied by parties with vested interest) who should have our health and well being, to legislate against the inclusion of these chemicals in products readily available to a wide population.

To avoid risk of exposure to toxic chemicals through skin care products, look for Certified Organic products.
Be certain of the certifying labels as many cosmetic manufactures claim have organic ingredients, but also include chemicals in their products.
Major sources of phthalates are from fragrances in these products. The phthalates help the smell to linger longer after the products have been used. Fragrances can be made up of up to 4000 different elements, and are not individually listed on an ingredients label.

1)Tulane and Xavier Universities, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA. john.mclachlan@tulane.edu

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Comment Feed

3 Responses

  1. Sorry – but anyone who claims “if you can’t eat it, don’t apply it on your body” is seriously misinformed. You can put plenty of things on your skin that you can’t eat, and you can do this in perfect safety. This is scientifically naive, like much of what is contained in your posts. Relying on the Environmental Working Group for useful information is a mistake. They may tell you exactly what you want to hear, but that does not mean that it is right!

    Try this link:

    http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/05/skin-deep-scratching-below-the-surface/

    Then you will see both sides – always good to know the other point of view – it just may be more truthful!

  2. Hello Dene,

    I can’t imagine that it is a coincidence that in the past few decades when thousands of synthetic chemicals have been released onto the world wide market that breast cancer rates have risen from one in 20 women at the turn of the century to one in 8 today. Infertility problems affect one in 4 couples and allergy rates across the population has increased by 400% (that number is not a typo!) in the past 20 years.

    Have you heard of Professor Niels Skakkebaek, Research Director, Copenhagen University Hospital? In exhaustive studies, after what seemed to be a spike in the incidence of testicular cancer and sterility, his studies found semen quality has reduced by 50% in the past 50 years. The research concluded it was phthalates absorbed from a range of exposures, including personal care products. The professor was severely criticized and so sent all his data to researcher Professor Shanna Swan, Epidemiologist, Rochester University, USA, to repeat the studies. With 3 people working for 4 months the results were almost identical to the Danish findings.

    Baby care products were the focus of studies by the University of Washington, led by researcher Sheela Sathyanarayana. Urine samples from babies who had baby lotion, shampoo and powder used on their skin showed the significant presence of phthalates Monoethyl phthalate (MEP) (MMP) and monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP)
    “These findings suggest that dermal exposures may contribute significantly the phthalate body burden in this population” concluded the researchers.

    It is no doubt the chemical industry is more concerned with their bottom line than the health of the general public as was evident in the recent shelving in the US of legislation to ensure BPA was removed from baby bottles and sippy cups. Remarkably, the industry has voluntarily removed the chemical from these products due to consumer demand, but the American Chemical Council wanted to be sure a precedent was not set that might influence the use of other chemicals. It appears a few phone calls to the right senators and the provision was removed from the Food Safety Modernization Act.

  3. Read the book Natural Cures by kevin trudeau and you will see that you MUST only use organic products. Any thing man made will cause cancer and disease! The government is controlled by the pharmecutical and drug companies they dont make money off of curing people they make money off people taking pill for the rest of there lives they arent out to save us they dont make money off of healthy people. I may sound like a quake thats fine but I wont be dying of breast cancer from the deodrant containing aluminium that the FDA says to be safe. Find one perscription or non perscription drug out there does you dont have to take long term or over and over again in your life and one that has no side effects! You will never find one I promise you! The number one ingredient in anti-freeze (Propylene Glycol- well known ingredient to cause cancer) is also a main ingredient in tooth paste, soap, lotion, shampoo, over 600 products people use every day! Even baby wipes and dog food reason why kids are getting cancer and a younger and younger age and dogs my god isnt that sicking. And if you let them brainwash you into thinking they are looking out for us you are letting them kill you and I dont feel sorry for you. How do you think may kind survived for so long. There never used to be a such thing as acid reflux, ADD, ADHA, Austism and Cancer that is quack.



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