Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Common chemicals may act together to increase cancer risk, study finds [news release]

Another reason not to use anti bacterial soaps
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Common chemicals may act together to increase cancer risk, study finds
From the 20 July 2015 Oregon State University news release

In a nearly three-year investigation of the state of knowledge about environmentally influenced cancers, the scientists studied low-dose effects of 85 common chemicals not considered to be carcinogenic to humans.

The researchers reviewed the actions of these chemicals against a long list of mechanisms that are important for cancer development. Drawing on hundreds of laboratory studies, large databases of cancer information, and models that predict cancer development, they compared the chemicals’ biological activity patterns to 11 known cancer “hallmarks” – distinctive patterns of cellular and genetic disruption associated with early development of tumors.

n a nearly three-year investigation of the state of knowledge about environmentally influenced cancers, the scientists studied low-dose effects of 85 common chemicals not considered to be carcinogenic to humans.

The researchers reviewed the actions of these chemicals against a long list of mechanisms that are important for cancer development. Drawing on hundreds of laboratory studies, large databases of cancer information, and models that predict cancer development, they compared the chemicals’ biological activity patterns to 11 known cancer “hallmarks” – distinctive patterns of cellular and genetic disruption associated with early development of tumors.

The chemicals included bisphenol A (BPA), used in plastic food and beverage containers; rotenone, a broad-spectrum insecticide; paraquat, an agricultural herbicide; and triclosan, an antibacterial agent used in soaps and cosmetics.

Read the entire article here

 

July 25, 2015 Posted by | environmental health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[News release] Why “hypoallergenic” isn’t a thing (video)

From the 19 March 2015 American Chemistry Association news release

It’s a simple claim made on thousands of personal care products for adults and kids: hypoallergenic. But what does that actually mean? Turns out, it can mean whatever manufacturers want it to mean, and that can leave you feeling itchy. Speaking of Chemistry is back this week with Sophia Cai explaining why “hypoallergenic” isn’t really a thing. Check it out here:

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March 21, 2015 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Chemical Concerns : What is in My Makeup?

Great links to reputable resources!

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THL News Blog

Makeup BrushMakeup Brush by Matt TrostleCC BY 2.0

I was at the Ann Arbor YMCA the other day and overheard two women questioning the safety of chemicals used in makeup and other over the counter personal products. This conversation was prompted by someone’s sunscreen running into their eyes, making them partially blind for a few minutes, causing her to wonder if there are any chemicals in there she should be really worried about. I thought I would do a search for information about the safety of chemicals in makeup and share my results since it seems to be something people are interested in:

  1. A good place to start is this FDA Fact Sheet article. It’s a quick two page PDF that has excellent tips on makeup use and regulation.
  2. Womenshealth.gov put out this great guide to cosmetics. It answers questions like “what’s in cosmetics” and “how can I…

View original post 105 more words

April 29, 2014 Posted by | Consumer Health | | Leave a comment

State unveils public website to expose harmful cosmetics

State unveils public website to expose harmful cosmetics.

 

From the 10 January 2014 Contra Costa Times article

 

Assorted cosmetics and tools

Assorted cosmetics and tools (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State public health officials announced on Friday a new online database that shows which cosmetics sold in California contain certain harmful chemicals, offering the first state-run public resource to inform consumers about potentially hazardous products they use everyday on their skin and hair.

The long-awaited California State Cosmetics Program Product Database is part of a state law passed in 2005 that aims to expose products with potentially hazardous ingredients, and pressure manufacturers to reformulate makeup, soap, lotion and similar products with safer alternatives. The public can search the website by type of product, brand or ingredient, and will be shown a list of products made with chemicals that are known to cause cancer, reproductive harm or birth defects.

“It does not mean that the cosmetic product itself has been shown to cause cancer, but since most products are not extensively tested for safety, providing information on chemical components will allow consumers to make more informed choices,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the state Department of Public Health.

As of November, the state had collected information from about 475 companies, which have disclosed the ingredients in roughly 30,000 products. The state is requiring only companies that sell in California and have more than $1 million per year in cosmetic sales to report the potentially harmful ingredients they use. The state is looking for about 900 chemicals that have been identified as harmful by Proposition 65 legislation and organizations such as the National Toxicology Program.

The database is part of the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005, legislation signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The law required the site to be up by Dec. 31, 2013, but a health department spokesman said it did not go live until Friday.

The law also gives the state some enforcement authority, such as requiring products are labeled with warnings.

“We are the one agency in the U.S. collecting this information on cosmetics,” Nerissa Wu, a state public health official who helped establish the program, told this newspaper in an interview last fall. “Our hope is that the market pressure that comes out of that … encourages manufacturers to reformulate.”

Advocates welcomed the database, but some worried that the state lacked the resources to enforce safer standards for cosmetics.

“This doesn’t ban anything. This doesn’t restrict anything,” said Gretchen Salter, senior program and policy manager at the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group that championed the 2005 legislation. “Ultimately our feeling is these products don’t belong in cosmetics in the first place.”

The database is at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cosmetics/Pages/default.aspx

Contact Heather Somerville at 510-208-6413. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.

 

 

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January 23, 2014 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] The Chemicals Women Wear with Additional Resources

Reblog

THE CHEMICALS WOMEN WEAR

We think it’s a treat for our skin when we exfoliate, moisturize and polish, but are we actually making ourselves sick? A recent study estimates that the average woman wears 515 chemicals a day — from eye shadow ingredients linked to cancer to perfume ingredients linked to kidney damage.

The average American uses 10 products every day, and chances are, they don’t know what’s in them. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found extremely high levels of lead in lipstick. In addition, recent research from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that teenage girls are exposing themselves to potentially hormone-altering substances by engaging in that seemingly innocent coming-of-age tradition of applying makeup. Yet, despite the dangers, women need to bathe and groom — and most women like a little extra color on their faces. So what can you do to stay healthy and still look good?

“It’s simple: Read the labels and be a smart shopper,” says Leann Brown of EWG. “Buy from companies that disclose their formulations.” Since producers aren’t required to make their ingredients public, many choose not to. “A company that discloses all ingredients will have lower risk than cosmetics with mystery ingredients,” says Brown. These products are likely to be equally effective — your hair will be just as smooth, your cheeks just as bright — but without the lurking health hazards.

chemical_skincare1




When shopping, there are a few key ingredients to be avoided. However, due to lax regulation, you may find them in products marked “organic” and “all-natural,” so be on the lookout. Here is a list of common toxic ingredients to avoid:


  • FD&C Color Pigments
  • Fragrance
  • Alcohol (Isopropyl)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Parabens

This research information is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a health care professional regarding the applicability of any opinion or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and no statement should be construed as a claim for cure, treatment or prevention of any disease.


Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH

Preventive Medicine & Public Health
http://www.kshamicamd.com

Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH is a Preventive Medicine Physician involved with merging Media with Health, Open-Source Education, Herbal Medicine, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness, and Love. She works on many initiatives bridging the global digital divide of health care education.

Related Resources

From the Library guide Cosmetics, Esthetics and Fragrances by Librarian Rhonda Roth

Cosmetics Dictionary (with ratings)

Cosmetics Database
From their About Page
“It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. At about one million page views per month, EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.”

David Suzuki  Icon
Search for “cosmetics from an environmental angle”

It’s Your Health – Cosmetics and Your Health Canadian content
        Government of Canada website. Health Canada’s cosmetic and personal care site regulates manufacturer labelling, distribution and sale of cosmetics.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Cosmetics
           Safety information from the FDA on various cosmetic products provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Have Healthy Skin

First television play NBC 1936

Apply skin care product immediately after washing your face

 Photo of actor Eddie Albert and actress Grace Brandt applying make-up for the first television presentation of a play. The play, The Love Nest, was also written and produced by Albert. The telecast took place on 6 November 1936 in NBC’s Studio 3H in Radio City.

The Columbia History of American Television, page 53 Gary R. Edgerton.

From the 29 June 2012 MedicalNewsToday article

Shoppers frequently spend fortunes on high-end facial products as they strive to improve the quality and look of their skin; this may be to treat acne, wrinkling and general aging, etc. Consumers vary in age from early teens to late adulthood. Dermatologists (skin specialist doctors) say that the routine in which these medications are applied really matter for optimum effectiveness.

Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD affirms this by saying that medications or treatments should be applied immediately after washing your face. This will ensure that it is absorbed properly. If you do not apply the product straight after washing, it may not do what its manufacturer claims.

Dr. Taylor recommends the following four steps to maximize your skin care:

    • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. When drying, pat the skin, don’t rub it dry.
    • Apply medication. Use your ring finger when applying cream around the eyes; it is the weakest finger and will not tug at this very delicate skin.
    • Apply sunscreen or moisturizer (or both).
  • If desired, apply makeup.
    (Article continues with additional tips for healthy skin)

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Fatal Attraction: Cosmetics and Chemicals

This item came to me this morning by Jenica Rhee (Twitter – @jenicarhee), who has emailed me links in the past few months to infographics she created (How Bikes can Save Us and Soda’s Evil Twin).
A quick glance at the references shows a great selection of resources from reputable organizations.

It is heartening to see a cosmetology school take a strong stand on regulating chemicals in cosmetics.

Chemicals in Cosmetics and on Your Face

Click here to see the graphic!

Scientists are talking about it; angry people are talking about it. The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government regulator of things like vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs, but when it comes to cosmetics (the topical stuff you put on your body like lotions, deodorant, and make-up) there seems to be a disconnect. The FDA only regulates the labeling of cosmetics, but the public safety of the chemicals in those products is assessed by the  ”Cosmetic Ingredient Review” — which is funded by the industry. Go figure.

The graphic outlines various studies that have cropped up over time regarding potential connections between hazardous chemicals and contamination of Americans, whose cosmetic regulatory polices lag far behind places like Europe and Canada. Take a look at some of the stuff that’s hiding in your daily routine — you might never shampoo your hair ever again.

  • Scientists are talking about it; angry people are talking about it. The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government regulator of things like vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs, but when it comes to cosmetics (the topical stuff you put on your body like lotions, deodorant, and make-up) there seems to be a disconnect. The FDA only regulates the labeling of cosmetics, but the public safety of the chemicals in those products is assessed by the  ”Cosmetic Ingredient Review” — which is funded by the industry. Go figure.The graphic outlines various studies that have cropped up over time regarding potential connections between hazardous chemicals and contamination of Americans, whose cosmetic regulatory polices lag far behind places like Europe and Canada. Take a look at some of the stuff that’s hiding in your daily routine — you might never shampoo your hair ever again.

From the link at  Chemicals in Cosmetics and on Your Face

Scientists are talking about it; angry people are talking about it. The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government regulator of things like vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs, but when it comes to cosmetics (the topical stuff you put on your body like lotions, deodorant, and make-up) there seems to be a disconnect. The FDA only regulates the labeling of cosmetics, but the public safety of the chemicals in those products is assessed by the  ”Cosmetic Ingredient Review” — which is funded by the industry. Go figure.

The graphic outlines various studies that have cropped up over time regarding potential connections between hazardous chemicals and contamination of Americans, whose cosmetic regulatory polices lag far behind places like Europe and Canada. Take a look at some of the stuff that’s hiding in your daily routine — you might never shampoo your hair ever again.

Warning! Ads and popups at inspiredm.com, still…the listings of infographics is a good find…so use your judgement before clicking on the link below

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

True or False? How Smart Are Your Cosmetics?

From the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Most cosmetics are safe if you use them correctly. But there are some things to be careful about. Check out our special Cosmetics True or False quiz and find out how much you really know! After you finish, find out how to get your special Smart Consumer certificate!

October 3, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health Education (General Public) | | Leave a comment

   

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