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Many consumers are unaware of the potentially harmful effects common personal care products can cause when absorbed through the skin. Chemicals such as petroleum, sodium laurel sulphate, and propylene glycol are commonly used in soap, body wash and hand lotions. Continual use of these products can cause industrial chemical ingredients to accumulate in the body and can lead to increased risk of cancer and damage to the endocrine system. They can also have a detrimental effect on future generations. A startling study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine revealed that children were 2.5 times more likely to have “clinically significant” behavioural problems if their mothers were exposed to high levels of phthalates via cosmetic. Interestingly enough, these results did not coincide with phthalates in plastics, just personal care products.

The majority of grocery store brand personal cleansing products do not have the term ‘soap’ on their labels. Often called beauty bars, moisturizing bars, or body bars, these bars cannot legally claim to be soap. Manufacturers have removed most of the good ingredients that comprise real soap; therefore they must market it using alternative names and labels. Even true soap can contain harmful synthetic materials. Soap and grocery store brand detergent bars are not only potentially harmful to the body; they can also release harmful chemicals into the environment.

Most commercially-produced bars are actually detergents. They are petroleum-based products like gasoline and kerosene. These bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colors, and a plethora of chemicals including carcinogens and other toxins. For example, antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan, which is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of a number of triclosan-containing products claim that the active ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use. Therefore consumers are being exposed to triclosan for much longer than the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face. Chronic use of chemical-laden products can result in the body storing the chemicals in body fat or even the brain. When the accumulation of toxins becomes sufficient, illness can occur.

In addition to the damage they can do to the consumer, industrial chemicals and toxins can damage the environment. A recent study by the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) revealed that synthetic chemicals from soap, body washes, shampoos and other personal care products were sneaking through the filters at water purification plants. Chemicals including phthalates (which are linked to reproductive disorders in both humans and animals), parabens (preservatives linked to cancer) and other toxins were found unfiltered. These chemicals are being found in bodies of water and are harming flora and fauna in their natural habitats.

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Source by Stephanie A Stover

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