Home Health news Cancer in the cabinet: DailyMail.com graphic reveals the makeup and personal care products high in dangerous chemicals… including FLOSS and tampons

Cancer in the cabinet: DailyMail.com graphic reveals the makeup and personal care products high in dangerous chemicals… including FLOSS and tampons

by Editor

Much attention has been paid to forever chemicals in water and food, but did you know, what you put on your body can be just as dangerous as what you put in it. 

There is a wide array of cosmetic and personal hygiene products Americans use to prevent sweating, shave beards and get a pesky popcorn kernel unstuck from their teeth.

But dozens of these products – and similar – have been revealed to contain harmful PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ and other cancer-causing ingredients. 

Consumer watchdog group Mamavation and the Environmental Working Group have tested hundreds of products and analyzed their ingredients, ranging from foods to sunscreens, makeup, body washes and contact lenses. 

They found dangerously high levels of harmful ingredients in items across categories. 

Below, a DailyMail.com graphic reveals which of Americans’ favorite products could be slowly poisoning them.

Hundreds of products have been revealed to contain PFAS, 'forever chemicals' and other cancer-causing ingredients

Hundreds of products have been revealed to contain PFAS, ‘forever chemicals’ and other cancer-causing ingredients

PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of thousands of substances known as forever chemicals. They are microscopic compounds that take thousands of years to break down in the environment or human body.

They are found in textiles, nonstick cookware, clothing, grease-resistant food packaging and personal care products. These products can easily enter the body following contact with them. 

Other types of forever chemicals include thousands that don’t exist in nature and are nearly impossible for the body to eliminate. 

There is no level of safe exposure to forever chemicals or PFAS and they have been linked to multiple cancers, asthma, fertility problems, obesity, birth defects, diabetes and autism.

One of the most common ways to test for the presence of PFAS in products is to measure the presence of organic fluorine, a chemical that contains known PFAS. 

For people using tampons or period pads, Mamavation found popular Playtex tampons, Always liners and Carefree liners all tested positive for organic fluorine

For people using tampons or period pads, Mamavation found popular Playtex tampons, Always liners and Carefree liners all tested positive for organic fluorine

Bandages made by popular brand Band Aid were found to contain between 188ppm and 262ppm organic fluorine content

Bandages made by popular brand Band Aid were found to contain between 188ppm and 262ppm organic fluorine content

Most people begin their days brushing their teeth, showering or putting on makeup – but with every step of their routine, exposure to harmful chemicals increases. 

Putting in contact lenses is the first step of the morning routine for tens of millions of Americans. 

But lens wearers should be warned some of the most popular brands on the market contain concerningly high levels of PFAS. 

Of the eight brands of contacts Mamavation tested, parts per million of organic fluorine were as high as nearly 21,000.

Values ranged from 4,700ppm for Coopervision’s lenses to 20,700ppm for Alcon’s colored lenses.  

The effects of PFAS on the eyes is still unclear, though some studies suggest it can increase the risk of vision impairments and some eye diseases. 

Next in a typical morning routine is maintaining oral health – but flossing twice per day could expose you to cancer-causing chemicals. 

Testing of Oral B’s Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss revealed the product had more than 70,000ppm organic fluorine. 

After tending to your teeth, you hop in the shower, squeeze body wash onto a loofah and begin to lather. 

But if soaps from popular brand Olay are your first choice, you’re exposing yourself to an irritant called methylisothiazolinone.

This ingredient is a chemical preservative similar to PFAS that is used to kill or control harmful microorganisms. However, it can cause chemical burns and severe skin irritations.

A common ingredient in sunscreens is homosalate - found in Hawaiian Tropic's Weightless Hydration sunscreen

A common ingredient in sunscreens is homosalate - found in Banana Boat's children's sunscreens

A common ingredient in sunscreens is homosalate – found in Banana Boat’s children’s sunscreens and Hawaiian Tropic’s Weightless Hydration sunscreen

For people looking to smell fresh all day long, reaching for an antiperspirant or deodorant comes with risks.  

Popular brands of the products, including those from Degree, Right Guard and Secret contain PFAS and the cancer-causing ingredients talc, BHT and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, also known as cyclopentasiloxane or D5. 

D5 can release formaldehyde, which has been shown in some studies to contribute to leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer. BHT has been linked to liver, thyroid and kidney problems, as well as impaired lung function in animal studies. 

And talc is the ingredient at the center of the Johnson & Johnson lawsuits, in which plaintiffs allege the company’s talc-based products caused a wide array of cancers.

For people using tampons or period pads, Mamavation found popular Playtex tampons, Always liners and Carefree liners all tested positive for organic fluorine. 

Playtex sport contained 19ppm, while the Always liners had 21ppm of the chemicals and the Carefree product had 17ppm. 

Other women’s products with dangerous ingredients include mascaras from Covergirl and Maybelline, which contain teflon, a type of forever chemical, and the hormone-disrupting chemical propylparaben.

GOT A HEALTH-RELATED STORY? 

Your first aid kit may contain some risky chemicals too. 

Bandages made by popular brand Band-Aid were found to contain between 188ppm and 262ppm organic fluorine content.

And any doctor will tell patients the importance of applying SPF to protect against skin cancer or melanoma.

But some popular brands also contain potentially harmful chemicals. 

For instance, one common ingredient in sun lotions is homosalate – found in Banana Boat’s children’s sunscreens and Sport Ultra, as well as Hawaiian Tropic’s Weightless Hydration sunscreen. 

Homosalate is a UV ray filter, and while it protects against the sun, it acts as a potential endocrine system-disruptor, with some studies suggesting it messes with hormones. 

In particular, homosalate impacts the estrogen system, which could cause breast cancer cells to grow and multiply. 

PFAS and forever chemicals are ubiquitous in people’s lives across the globe. 

They are even in clothing and bedding, and while it may seem impossible to avoid them, experts offer several tips to reduce exposure. 

Dr Mark Howell, a researcher on disease burden at the University of South Florida, wrote for Consumer Notice to look for ‘PFAS-free’ labels on beauty and personal care products, reduce intake of fast foods and drink filtered water.

Other advice includes avoiding fabrics that tout themselves as stain-resistant and steering clear of waterproof or ‘long-lasting’ cosmetics. 

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