CARCINOGENS IN COSMETICS [Thursday, November 02, 2017]
The laws governing cosmetics and personal care products are so limited that known cancer-causing chemicals, or carcinogens, are legally allowed in personal care products. Some carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, are common in personal care products, while others are less common, but still occasionally present.

HOW CAN YOU AVOID CARCINOGENS IN COSMETICS?

Read labels and avoid cosmetics and personal care products containing formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol), phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic and crystalline silica (or quartz).

HEALTH CONCERNS: Cancer, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, bioaccumulation, ecotoxicity.

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: All REGULATIONS: Formaldehyde is prohibited in Japan,[1] and restricted in the EU;[2] coal tar is prohibited in the EU;[3] benzene is prohibited in the EU;[4] ethylene oxide is prohibited in the EU;[5] chromium is prohibited in the EU; [6] cadmium compounds are prohibited in Japan[7] and the EU;[8] arsenic is prohibited in the EU.[9]

Where do we find those known human carcinogenic chemicals? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an intergovernmental agency, and part of the World Health Organization. IARCs mission is to enhance collaboration in cancer research internationally.[10]

IARC consolidates scientific evidence and classifies the chemicals it reviews into five levels:[11]

Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans Group 3: Not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans Group 4: Probably not carcinogenic to humans. Of the 113 agents listed by IARC as known human carcinogens (Groups 1), at least 11 have been or are currently used in personal care products: formaldehyde, phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, methylene glycol, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic, and crystalline silica or quartz.[12] Carcinogens in personal care products: Chemicals and their health concerns? FormaldehydePhenacetinCoal TarBenzene Mineral oils (untreated and mildly treated)Ethylene oxide Heavy MetalsCadmium and its compoundsArsenicChromium Silica

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