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Chemicals in Beauty Products Can Harm Your Reproductive Health

Chemicals in Beauty Products Can Harm Your Reproductive Health

Here’s how you can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals found in everyday care products.

Parabens, used as antimicrobial preservatives in personal care products, fragrances, pharmaceuticals and foods, are known to negatively affect male hormones and reproductive systems. And now there’s an indication that when they’re combined with repeated exposure to other chemicals in consumer products, they affect women’s reproductive health too.

Researchers from George Mason University took 509 urine samples from 143 women ages 10 to 44. They found the women’s urine contained parabens, benzophenones (filters that block ultraviolet light), chlorphenols (a biocide that suppresses immune system defenses) and BPA (a hormone disruptor in plastics and cash register receipts), and that various levels and combos were associated with damage to women’s ovarian function and increases and decreases in normal levels of reproductive hormones.

Ask your senators to bring the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S.1113), introduced in May 2017 by Senators Feinstein and Collins, to the floor for a vote! Plus, read ingredient labels (the small type); dodge added non-essential oil fragrances (parabens show up in them but not on labels) and fragrances suppressors (same problem); refuse receipts or wash hands immediately after touching them; use certified personal/beauty products free of toxic chemicals (explore EWG-verified products); and check out what Sharecare experts say women need to know about harmful chemicals in cosmetics.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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