Mindful Metropolis May 2010 : Page 33

WhaT To WaTch ouT for Epstein lists many chemicals to avoid in Toxic Beauty and explains why they’re dangerous. A few of the better-known chemicals causing controversy include parabens, phthalates, sulfates and talc. Here’s why: » parabens. these synthetic preserva- tives appear in a wide range of beauty prod- ucts. studies have identifi ed them as hormone disrupters with the potential to alter one’s re- productive functions, and they’ve been found in tissue from breast cancer tumors. the eu- ropean union (eu) banned a type of paraben from cosmetics, but the united states has yet to follow suit. » pHtHalates. ubiquitous chemicals often hidden under the term “fragrance” in beauty products, phthalates are categorized as en- docrine disrupters, too. research that’s been around for decades has shown them to disrupt the production of testosterone. again, unlike the united states, the eu banned a few com- mon phthalates from cosmetics. » sulfates. two of the most frequently used sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (sLs) and sodium laureth sulfate (sLes). they’re added to personal-care products to create suds that help wash dirt and oil off the face and body. in addition to causing dry or irri- tated skin, the process to make these chemi- cals can contaminate a product with dioxane, a known human carcinogen. » talc. one of the fi rst ingredients listed in many traditional powder cosmetics (and baby powder), talc is used to absorb moisture. ep- stein lists talc as a carcinogen in his book, and the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked the ingredient to increased risk of ovarian cancer. there are many other cosmetic ingredients you should know more about. start by visiting the eWG’s cosmetic database online and look up ingredients in your cosmetics. the organi- zation catalogs data about hundreds of chem- icals and their relevant health risks. Alicia Ontiveros is a freelance writer, web video producer and green blogger. She hosts a live web show called EcoChat on Mondays at 8pm, fea- turing leaders in the green movement. Watch at ecochatonline.com or follow her green adven- tures at ecochicago.blogspot.com. hanigs.com ONE OF EUROPE’S FAVORITES...AT HANIGS. FOR MEN &WOMEN NOW OPEN! Come experience Hanig’s bright NEW store at North Ave. and Sheffield. Free parking! Hanig’s Footwear The John Hancock Center, 875 N.Michigan (312) 787-6800 NEW: 1000W. North Ave. at Sheffield (312) 640-1234 2754 N. Clark at Diversey • 847W. Armitage Plaza del Lago,Wilmette • 1627 Sherman, Evanston mindfulmetropolis.com 33

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