According to the Environmental Working Group, the average American is exposed to more than a hundred different chemicals from personal-care products every day. We use multiple personal care products—from shampoo to deodorant, lotion to make-up—that contain chemical ingredients that are absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. So it’s not surprising that potentially harmful chemicals get into our bodies, our breast milk and our children.
Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health problems that are epidemic in our society. Astonishingly, in the United States, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The cosmetic industry asserts that their products are safe, even though 89 percent of the ingredients used in cosmetics today have not been assessed by either the FDA or the industry themselves.
The cosmetics industry’s argument is that it is safe to put toxic chemicals into their products because the amount in each product is too small to matter. This is despite the fact that many have been linked to cancer, infertility, hormone disruption and other health problems. But small amounts of toxic chemicals add up and can accumulate in our bodies and none of us use just one product. On any given day, most of us use toothpaste, soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant, body lotion, shaving products and makeup, most of which have multiple toxic chemicals in them. And when you add this up over a year and a lifetime, it means we are exposed to thousands of them.