When your soap is no longer just soap…
Love makeup? Prefer perfume? Watch out, a new study says. Researchers in California have discovered that girls exposed to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products, before birth, may hit puberty earlier.
What’s causing the havoc? The key ingredients in the offending products were diethyl phthalate, parabens and triclosan.
“We know that some of the things we put on our bodies are getting into our bodies, either because they pass through the skin or we breathe them in or we inadvertently ingest them,” said Kim Harley, an associate adjunct professor in the School of Public Health. “We need to know how these chemicals are affecting our health.”
Phthalates are often found in scented products like perfumes, soaps and shampoos. Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics.
Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent the FDA banned from use in hand soap back in 2017 because it was shown to be ineffective. It is, however, still used in some toothpastes.
Strangely, the study didn’t actually set out to examine the effects of these ingredients on women. It came upon them by chance.
Researchers were studying pregnant women living in farm-working, primarily Latino communities in Central California’s Salinas Valley. The women were recruited between 1999 and 2000 and the actual aim was to examine the impact of pesticides on childhood development, by following their health.
The same results weren’t found in boys.
According to researchers, it’s suspected that many chemicals can interfere with the natural hormones in our bodies.