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Not So Shocking News: Formaldehyde is a Carcinogen

June 13, 2011

I certainly lucked out with having my family be 100% supportive of every decision I make (well I’ll admit….sometimes it may take a little convincing). Fortunately, once my sister Phoebe and step-mom Linda realized how serious I am about my quest to utilize and educate others on 100% all-natural beauty products their support has been through the roof….I consider this very lucky as, for the most part, when I talk to people about the dangers of chemicals in cosmetics and the benefits of all-natural products they look at me as though I am trying to convert them to a cult-like religion.

Anyway, my sister sent me this article from the New York Times that I found quite interesting…I try to take more of a health/beauty rather than political approach to all-natural beauty but I must say, the lack of (i.e. virtually none) government involvement and regulation in the cosmetics industry is pretty baffling. In this article they are finally releasing some statements in regards to chemicals in our cosmetics and that, big surprise, formaldehyde is a carcinogen.

Government scientists listed formaldehyde as a carcinogen, and said it is found in worrisome quantities in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons. They also said that styrene, which is used in boats, bathtubs and in disposable foam plastic cups and plates, may cause cancer but is generally found in such low levels in consumer products that risks are low.

I love the cushioning “but”. The article goes on to say…

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration warned in April that a hair-care product, Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, contained unacceptable levels of formaldehyde, and salon workers have reported headaches, nosebleeds, burning eyes, vomiting and asthma attacks after using the product and other hair-straighteners.

Studies of workers like embalmers exposed to high levels of formaldehyde have found increased incidences of myeloid leukemia and rare cancers of the nasal passages and upper mouth.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that formaldehyde is both worrisome and inescapable. “It’s the smell in new houses, and it’s in cosmetics like nail polish,” he said. “All a reasonable person can do is manage their exposure and decrease it to as little as possible. It’s everywhere.”

Yikes…and somehow it’s our responsibility to manage our exposure yet I am betting that the reason those carcinogens are in our environment in the first place is due to lack of government regulation where it actually counts.

Alright, that’s all I’m gonna say.

Read the ingredients on the packaging of your beauty products, people! After reading this article I found at least five nail polish products in my store containing formaldehyde.

Thank you for reading!

Annie Strole

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    September 30, 2011 5:16 am

    I am right there with you! I find all of this information fascinating, and learning about the ways the cosmetic industry basically makes its own rules. I have been reaching out to friends to try to share the information I have, and I am looked at with cocked-bug eyes in return (so I can certainly relate to you in that). I started out researching cruelty-free items, and I have grown distant from a few friends who I told about Loreal’s depravity and they continued to buy it. I would have never predicted that that could ever be a deal-breaker in a friendship, but hey. Anyway, I am loving your blog and I’m ignoring my boyfriend because I keep going back further and further into other blog posts, haha! I haven’t read any blogs in this topic area as entertaining, well-researched and intriguing, so wee! I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

    • October 3, 2011 11:17 pm

      Haha, thanks again Emily for reading. Isn’t it nice to find some like-minded individuals out there? I apologize for the reduction of frequency in my posting but keep reading and commenting! It’s greatly appreciated 🙂 And tell yer BF I say sorry haha!

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