Teenagers bear cosmetics induced chemical burden, says EWG

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Care products council Cosmetics

The Environmental Working Group is back on the offensive with data indicating that hormone disrupting chemicals are finding their way from cosmetics into teenage girls.

Testing the blood and urine of 20 teenagers, the EWG found 16 chemicals that may disrupt hormone levels.

The girls in the sample were no strangers to personal care and used an average of more than 16 products per day.

However, their fondness for beauty products could be putting their health in danger because of the high number of endocrine disrupters found in the tests.

The EWG said the chemicals identified, which include phthalates, triclosan and musks, are associated with cosmetics and body care products.

Potential health risks

The consumer group said these chemicals mimic hormones and may cause effects at very low levels.

Teenage girls often use large quantities of beauty products and are therefore exposed to any potential dangers lurking in their make-up bag.

They are also going through rapid development so their long-term health, particularly their reproductive health, could be at risk, according to EWG.

The group said the chemicals put under the spotlight in the study have been the target of consumer, health and environmental advocates who “view scientific findings as justification for limiting or eliminating exposure.”

The EWG also said finding cosmetics that are free from suspect ingredients was notoriously difficult and that labels are often misleading.

Trade body attacks study

Responding to the study the Personal Care Products Council released a statement saying that the EWG has chosen to publish data that supports its agenda rather than providing a full picture of the scientific research.

The trade association invited consumers to study the research on the ingredients in question, which it has published online at www.cosmeticsinfo.com​.

In addition the PCPC stated that companies are required by law to substantiate the safety of all products and ingredients before they are marketed and that safety assessments take into account that products will be used over the course of a lifetime.

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