Don’t you love the smell of your hair when you have just washed it? Maybe you won’t after reading this.
The fragrance in many cosmetic products that you can smell for hours and hours gets its staying power from chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates have many many uses in cosmetics but one use is to prolong the life of the fragrance.
The trouble with phthalates is that inside the human body, they mimic oestrogen. These types of chemicals are called endocrine disrupters and can have huge health implications.
Phthalates have been linked to many modern health problems including male reproductive system birth defects, reduced testosterone, infertility, allergies, asthma and hormone disruption resulting in endometriosis and preterm birth. Another study also linked an increased level of phthalates in urine to a larger waist size. Could phthalates also be responsible, in part, to our obesity epidemic?
Not only do we put these products on our skin and hair but we also spray them round our home, in our car, wash our clothes in them. Scary stuff..
So how do we avoid these nasties? Look on the ingredients label and avoid products containing anything that has ingredients containing: –
BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)
You also need to avoid any products containing fragrance because ‘fragrance’ could mean any number of chemicals that are protected under law from being disclosed by cosmetic companies. Its like their special secret ingredient.
I bet you never thought smelling so good could smell so rotten?
The NICNAS (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme – Australias chemical watchdog) has compiled a detailed hazard assessment list of 24 phthalates chemicals which you can read here: –
NICNAS are currently composing reports on another 9 phthalate chemicals with recommendations for further regulatory actions.