Recently, blood samples of 10 individuals were taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Specifically the samples were tested for toxic chemical pollutants, pesticides and industrial chemicals. Some of these toxic ingredients came from cosmetic products. What is most interesting in this study is that scientists have been studying pollution in the air, in our water, and on our land for decades, but only recently have they studied it in humans.
The results of these tests on these 10 Americans were absolutely astounding.
· 287 chemicals were found with an average of 200 per individual;
· by category there were 28 waste products, dioxins, chemicals normally gotten from smoke stacks or the air;
· 47 were from consumer products that were presumably consumed;
· 212 were industrial chemicals that had been banned over 30 years ago.
The problem with these studies is that none of the 10 Americans were factory or farm workers. So, how then were these 10 individuals exposed to these potentially toxic chemicals? The truth is not much was known about these 10 because, in fact, the 10 in question were FETUSES, and what we do know is this:
· some 300 quarts of blood flow through to the fetus from the pregnant mother each day;
· the belief that the Placenta filters out toxic chemicals is simply not true;
· women use an average of 12 personal care products daily and are exposed to over 160 ingredients, some of which are toxic;
· industrial pollution, therefore, begins in the womb;
· 134 of the chemicals found are known to cause cancer;
· 151 cause birth defects;
· 154 are linked to hormone deficiencies;
· 186 can cause infertility;
· 130 are immune system toxicants;
· 158 were neurotoxins, i.e. lead, PCB’s, and mercury that can have profound effects on intelligence and motor skills
The Chemical Industry says there is no reason for alarm because the doses are low, measured in parts per billion, and thus safe. This might raise the question of whether a part per billion might cause harm? The answer is equally alarming. Consider these real life statistics:
· Albuterol, used by many to stop Asthma attacks, is effective at 2.1 parts per billion per dose;
· Paxil, used as an anti-depressant, is effective at 30 parts per billion per dose;
· Cialis, one might say has profound therapeutic effects, is effective for 36 hours at 30 parts per billion per dose;
· Nuvaring, used for birth control, is effective at 0.035 parts per billion per dose.
Conclusion: LOW DOSES MATTER!
Decades of exposure have created a silent pandemic in our country, as there are increases in diseases and disorders that cannot be explained by science and genetics alone:
· 57% increase in brain cancer among children;
· 1 in 150 children have Autism;
· an 84% increase in Lymphocytic Leukemia in children during the period of 1975 – 2002;
· over the same period a condition known as Hypospadias has doubled (birth defect of the penis whereby the urethra does not come out at the end but somewhere else in the shaft and will require surgery);
· 7.3 million US couples, a 20% increase in the last decade, have trouble getting pregnant or carrying to full term;
· men have a 1% decrease per year in sperm count in the US and Northern Europe;
· 1 in 3 women will get breast cancer;
· 1 in 2 men will develop some form of cancer.
From my previous articles on toxic ingredients in cosmetic products you should already know that the Cosmetic Industry is self-regulated, meaning if the cosmetic manufacturer says their product is safe, it can go to market without any pre-testing and accepted as a safe product. The FDA does not do any pre-market testing and accepts the manufacturer at his/her word.
The question becomes what can be done about this health hazard. One must go on living and cannot be expected to live in fear of everything put into or on our bodies. Well, back in 1976 a law was passed known as the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). This law grand fathered in 62,000 existing industrial chemicals and another 700 to 1000 new chemicals are added each year. These chemicals are presumed to be safe as there are no requirements for the manufacturer of each chemical to prove their safety. However, TSCA uses the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, to manage the process. Here are the results:
· in 34 years the list of industrial chemicals has grown to over 80,000;
· 80% of these chemicals submitted to the EPA are approved within 3 weeks;
· only 5 chemicals have been banned in the 34 years and one of them, a well known cancer causing chemical called Asbestos, was reversed by one of the courts in the judicial system as the court ruled that after 10 years of study and 45,000 pages of documentation by the EPA, it had not proved with certainty, by the rules governing TSCA, that Asbestos causes cancer.
The bottom line to all this is that TSCA is outdated and must be changed. My next article will address what is being done in Washington to address this horrific health situation potentially being caused by the toxic ingredients in our blood, but do not hold your breath, because if it has taken the EPA 34 years to get only four chemicals banned, one can only imagine what it will take to move this mountain of information, over 80,000 chemicals to date, to protect our children and our children’s children. The Cosmetic Industry plays a large role in health hazard as there are many toxic ingredients in cosmetic products that find their way into the fetus from the bloodstream of the pregnant mother through the umbilical cord directly into the fetus.
With the statistics above provided by the Environmental Working Group and our own government through hearings held on February 26, 2009, surely one can only be assured of safe, toxic-free cosmetic products by searching, locating and buying only certified organic cosmetics. The seals and logos of certification on the containers themselves can identify these products.