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teenagersA study by researchers at University of California Berkeley, California Department of Public Health and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas has revealed the following cosmetic chemicals can be harmful to teens:  phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone.  All of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors.  Teens are at significant risk because this is the period of rapid reproductive development (especially for girls).  Teenage girls can use as many as 12 products per day that contain these chemicals, boys use somewhat less.

These chemical are found in sunscreens, soaps, hair products and perfume.  They have a huge impact on the endocrine system that produces hormones.  The hormones can regulate development, reproduction, metabolism, as well as the three major systems in the body – cardiovascular, immune and neurological functions.

The study was performed on 100 girls aged 14 to 19.  They used toiletries that did not contain the above-mentioned ingredients.  After just three days of using the replacement products, the chemical levels of those ingredients in their bodies dropped significantly – (diethyl phthalate 27%, triclosan 36%, oxybenzone 36%, methylparaben 44% and propylparaben 45%).  What could happen to girls if they continue to use products with these chemicals?  A continuous buildup of the chemicals in the body could be passed on to the fetus when they become pregnant.

Cosmetic companies and organizations such as Proctor & Gamble, L’Oréal, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, the Environmental Working Group, Personal Care Products Council, the March of Dimes and many more are meeting before legislators in support of a bill for companies to disclose ingredients.  They want to push for disclosure of ingredients found in fragrances as well as to ban ingredients that are deemed to be hazardous.  It will be interesting to see how fast this will happen.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Grossman, E. (2016). Earth Island Journal, “Switching cosmetics can help teens reduce exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals”. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from: http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/switching_cosmetics_can_help_teens_reduce_exposure_to_hormone-disrupting_ch/