In order to live a healthier, cleaner life, it’s important to reduce your chemical body load. But how many routines in our everyday life need to change in order to make a difference in our health?
Cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned only 11 chemicals, while countries such as those in the EU have banned 1,328 chemicals
This makes it difficult to find data about short- and long-term health effects from exposure to the 1,317 unregulated chemicals that the EU bans.
However, there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to infertility, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.
One fantastic piece of evidence is a 2016 study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas. This study proves that even a short break from synthetic chemical-based beauty products and cosmetics can lead to almost 50% drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.
EDCs are widely used in personal care products, including cosmetics, fragrance, hair products, soaps and sunscreens. Some of the most common EDCs include phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone.
For this study, researchers provided 100 Latina teenagers with personal care products labeled free of these EDCs.
The lead author of the study, Kim Harley, noted that because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals. Teen girls in particular use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.
The results, published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, are astonishing.
Analysis of urine samples before and after a three-day trial in which the participants used the lower- chemical products found significant drops in levels of these chemicals in the body.
- Metabolites of diethyl phthalate, commonly used in fragrances, decreased 27 percent by the end of the trial period.
- Methyl and propyl parabens, used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44 and 45 percent respectively.
- Both triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps and some brands of toothpaste, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), found in some sunscreens under the name oxybenzone, fell 36 percent.
The study noted that there were small increases in concentrations in two less common parabens, although those levels were small and could have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitution not listed on the labels.
At The Source and Hugh & Grace, our mission is completely aligned with, and validated by this study: To reduce chemical exposure, and inspire and equip people to live cleaner, healthier lives; driven by product, activated through knowledge, and carried forward with grace.
We are so grateful to the researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas who conducted this study for raising awareness about the effects of EDCs, and for contributing to the growing body of evidence that using EDC-free products lowers your risk for major health concerns.
This study is absolutely a testament to the fact that you CAN reduce your chemical body load by taking a few simple steps. It’s also proof that the shampoos, lotions and other personal care products you use can and will affect the amount of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in one’s body.
We understand that switching to hormone-safe products can seem overwhelming. You may feel that, because chemicals are so prevalent in consumer products, you can’t escape them. Check out Hugh & Grace to shop products that are guaranteed to be free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone so you can experience the same results as these study participants!