How many potentially toxic ingredients do you smear on your skin, hair or nails on a daily basis?
An initial study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted in 2008 found 16 chemicals from four chemical families — phthalates, triclosan, parabens and musks — in the blood and urine of 20 teen girls. Though some of these ingredients have since been banned, some are still not strictly regulated.
Long-term exposure to these chemicals can also affect mothers and have future consequences for their daughters. A 2018 study shows that mothers who had higher levels of phthalates and tricolsan during pregnancy would have daughters who started puberty earlier than other girls. The researchers also discovered that girls with increased levels of parabens in their system started puberty as young as 9.
“We already suspect that certain chemicals that are widely used in personal care products — like phthalates, parabens and triclosan — are endocrine disruptors,” Dr. Kim Harley, associate professor at the University of California and lead study author, told The Telegraph. “This means that they mimic, block or otherwise interfere with natural hormones in our bodies, such as estrogen.”