March 8, 2012 -- Many cleaning and personal care products contain chemicals linked with asthma flare-ups or hormone disruption, according to new research.
On the list: sunscreens, vinyl shower curtains, and fragranced products.
"Consumer products in the home can be a significant source of hormone-disrupting chemicals and asthma-associated chemicals," says Robin Dodson, ScD, a research scientists at Silent Spring Institute. The research organization studies links between the environment and women's health.
The study is published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Dodson and her team suggest consumers should reduce their use of certain products found to be high in these chemicals for health reasons. However, industry groups say the study is flawed and the safety fears unfounded.
Chemicals in Household Products: Study Details
''Asthma is increasing, and we're still trying to figure out why," Dodson tells WebMD. Her team wanted to look at chemicals in household products that might be linked with asthma flare-ups - which are when a person with asthma has a mild to severe attack.
They also looked at chemicals known as hormone disrupters. Hormone disrupters mimic or change the body's own hormones. They can raise concerns for increased risk of certain cancers, Dodson says.
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(Reuters Health) - Fumes from cleaning products used at work can make existing asthma worse, according to a new study of professional cleaning service employees.
Products such as bleach, glass cleaner, detergents and air fresheners exacerbated asthma-related symptoms for the women, and their reduced lung function lasted until the morning after exposure, in some cases getting worse with time.
“These results support the importance of developing workplace health and safety practices designed to limit exposures to irritant chemicals in cleaning products,” the study team writes in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
A wide variety of cleaning products are used by workers in settings like offices, factories and hospitals, write David Vizcaya, of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center in Canada, and his colleagues. Professional cleaning services are necessary to clean, disinfect, and control dust and mold on surfaces, but a number of studies in recent years have reported associations between exposure to cleaning products and asthma, the researchers note.
Vizcaya and his team evaluated respiratory symptoms over about two weeks in 21 women who had asthma symptoms within the past year, eight of whom also had a longer history of asthma. All were employees of cleaning companies in Barcelona, Spain.
During the study period, the women recorded the different types of cleaning products they used at work as well as how they used them, such as in spray or liquid form. The list included 14 different generic cleaning agents including bleach, detergents, degreasers, carpet cleaners and waxes and polishes.
On average, the women used just over two different types of cleaning products each day, and on about three out of every four working days the women were exposed to at least one strong irritant, such as ammonia, bleach or hydrochloric acid.
The researchers found that during this period, 17 women reported having at least one upper respiratory tract symptom, such as sneezing, scratchy throat and runny nose. Eighteen women also reported at least one lower respiratory tract symptom, such as coughing, wheezing or chest pain.
There was a stronger association between exposure to cleaning products and developing these symptoms among women with a history of asthma, as compared to the rest of the group.
But due to the small number of participants in the study, the authors caution that these results should be interpreted “carefully,” and that more research is needed.
Other recent studies have linked the chlorine in swimming pools and in bleach used for cleaning homes and schools to asthma and respiratory infections among swimmers and school children.
The risk from cleaning products is not only seen among professional cleaners, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, senior consultant for scientific affairs at the American Lung Association (ALA). Using these products can be dangerous in the home as well.
“The ALA recommends that at least for the home, people use non-toxic cleaners, especially for those with asthma and allergies,” Edelman told Reuters Health.
“In an attempt to be vigorous, many people use chlorine bleaches and lye at home, and this can be very irritating to the lungs,” Edelman said. “And it is usually not really necessary to use products like this. If people are going to use these products, they often don’t know how to protect themselves.”
For instance, mixing cleaning products that contain bleach and ammonia can cause severe lung damage, he noted.
In the industrial setting, protection for workers may vary considerably, he added. Safety regulations will not only vary between countries, but also depending on the type of industry.
“Many of the people working in this industry are day laborers, they are not unionized and may be afraid to lose their jobs if they complain or ask for protective gear,” Edelman said.
In a large corporation or medical center, these workers may be unionized and safety regulations will probably be more strongly adhered to, but even then, the type of protective gear will make a difference.
“Particle masks are not too expensive or cumbersome to use, but they are not going to keep the fumes out,” he said. “To keep out the fumes, they may need more cumbersome equipment.”
SOURCE: bmj.co/1AmtdKM Occupational Environmental Medicine, online April 23, 2015.
Essential oils containing furanocoumarins
Some essential oils which contain furanocoumarins and are to be used with caution are:
1,4 Dioxane is a contaminant found in most cosmetics and products meant for personal care. It has a high hazard rating of 8 in EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Not only that, but it's one of the chemicals featured in California’s Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens.
According to Natural News, 1,4-Dioxane is a known eye and respiratory tract irritant that readily penetrates the skin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, but not to be confused with the gentle Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate.
According to Natural Essentials, SLS bonds with other common soap ingredients, resulting in a carcinogenic nitrosamine, one of the chemicals also featured in California’s Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens.
SLS is linked to skin irritations and allergic reactions, like eczematous dermatitis, leaving sensitive skin damaged and irritated.
Triclosan is a pesticide with antibacterial and antifungal properties, containing a high hazard rating of 7 in EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Studies show that Triclosan in low doses, can impact thyroid hormone concentrations, disrupting the endocrine system.
Triclosan is also classified as a skin, eye, and lung irritant.
Parabens have a tendency to mimic hormones, which can be found to disrupt the function of hormones naturally found in your body.
Ureas like, Diazolidinyl Urea, are known to release the chemical formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde, with a high hazard rating of 10, is a known human carcinogen, human respiratory toxicant, skin irritant and an environmental toxin. With a chemical as toxic as these, I’d look twice at that soap label next time.
What can you replace these harmful ingredients with?
Now that we’ve gone over what to avoid, I’m going to suggest what to reach for the next time you shower.
Try some non-soap cleansers, like Cetaphil, or (at the risk of sounding a bit sales-y) soaps like our gentle body wash (made from soapberries) are great choices!
Glycerin soap is also a better alternative to common soap. It is a gentle soap, and they can be made of completely natural ingredients. Because of this, glycerin soap is particularly beneficial for people who have sensitive skin.
How many of you still using *fluorides* toothpaste ？ Like *Dar..* or *co....* ?
The FDA requires a *poison warning* on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now
sold in USA.
Risks from ingesting fluoride toothepaste includes
- permanent *tooth discoloration (dental fluorosis)*
- *stomach ailments*
- acute *toxicity, skin rashes ( perioral dermatitis)*
- impairment in glucose metabolism
Research has also shown fluorides:
- Cause early puberty in females
- Destroys male reproductive system
- Brain damange particularly to unborn children
- *Lowers IQ* and leads to autism disorders
- Accumulates in pineal gland- disrupts sleep paterns
- Linked to Parkinsons, *Arthritis* and Osteoporosis