Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics Essay

Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics Essay

Length: 1261 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

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Although cosmetics became widely popular in the 1900s, tombs from 3100 B.C. have revealed that makeup originated in the first Egyptian Dynasty ("The History of Makeup", 1). Researchers found that these cosmetics contained ingredients that ranged from lead to cat dung; both of which are toxic. The use of toxic chemicals in cosmetics, such as coal tar, negatively impacts a person's health. Cosmetic companies put consumers' health at risk due to the use of toxic chemicals, marketing ploys and failure to properly regulate their own products and the chemicals they contain. While cosmetics pose dangerous risks to the human body in general, pregnant women and their fetus are especially vulnerable to the consequences of being exposed to these toxins.

If some women are not willing to give up their cosmetics during pregnancy, the ingredients in makeup can be lethal to the fetus. Nail polishes and hair sprays contain substances called phthalates, which is more commonly known as a plasticizer and can be found in the material to make rain coats and garden hoses, and its purpose is to make plastic more flexible but still strong (“Controversy Over Phthalates in Cosmetics” par 1) .When phthalates are absorbed into the skin, they could harm the fetus and, in baby boys, they could cause irregular genitals. Another ingredient, methylisothiazoline (or MIT for short), can be found in everyday shampoos and body washes such as Head and Shoulders, Suave and Pantene Hair conditioner, products a pregnant woman may very well use, and tests have shown that exposure to this ingredient could cause abnormal brain development in the fetus ("Popular shampoos contain toxic chemicals linked to nerve damage" par 2). However, these chemicals can cause health defi...


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...rench, Christy T. "History of Makeup" (2004): Authors Den. 20, September, 2011. Web.
Mercola, Joseph. "How Dangerous are Your Cosmetics?" (2011): Mercola.com: Take Control of Your Health. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

Reid, Brian. "Controversy Over Phthalates in Cosmetics" (2011): Our Stolen Future. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

Rudow, Barbara. Turning Green (2008): California: Scobre Press Corporation. Pages 3, 14, 33. Print.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (2011): Environmental Working Group. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

“Coal Tar Hair Dyes: Hair Care Cautions” (2011): Hairfinder: Hair Styles, Hair Care & Fashion. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

"Cosmetic and Personal Care Products Can be Cancer Risks" (2011): Cancer Prevention Coalition. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

"Natural and Organic Beauty Products: Behind the Facade" (2011): Articlesbase: Free Online Articles Directory. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

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