What chemicals do experts recommend we limit our usage of?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Experts recommend limiting your usage of the following chemicals:
  • Bisphenol-A (BPA). You may have heard about BPA, the chemical used to make hard plastics, line cans, and create carbonless receipts. It's proven to raise the risk of breast cancer in rats, and the FDA has raised an alarm about the potential harm BPA can cause. Some states have banned or restricted its use. Ninety-three percent of us have BPA in our bodies. We live with it, and we excrete it when we go to the bathroom, sending the chemical into the environment.
  • Phthalates. These difficult-to-pronounce ingredients help fragrance linger on the body after you have applied a lotion or body cream to your skin. They're also found in toys, floor coverings, detergent, soaps, nail polish, and shampoos. Unfortunately, they mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to reproductive problems in rodents, such as lower testosterone and fetal malformation. Often they are not listed on beauty products, so the best rule of thumb is to avoid any products with fragrance.
  • Parabens. Found in moisturizing shampoos and body lotions, parabens are the most widely used preservatives in the beauty product industry, and they also act similar to estrogen in our bodies. One study found parabens in the breast cancer tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied; experts worry there could be a connection.
Use these chemicals as a litmus test for a healthy product. If you see them listed on the label (often as methylparaben, butylparaben, or propylparaben), it shows that the manufacturer is not concerned about limiting exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.