I doubt that this topic is a surprise to anyone as every week there seems to be something or other 'killing' us. However its still important to be aware of these things, I have been reading a book called 'Toxic Beauty: How hidden chemicals in cosmetics harm you' by Dawn Mellowship and thought I might share some of what the book sets out as well as other information I picked up when researching this.
Looking at nail polish as an example its clear to see why many companies have become 'big three free':
- Formadehyde: Colourless gas which is a fungicide and a preservative, known carcinogenic.
- Toluene: Flammable liquid which is an antioxidant and solvent, can cause respiration tract irritation, reported to cause asthma in healthy individuals. Toxic to reproduction; spontaneous abortion, abnormalities of chromosomes (eg. Down's Syndrome) and other birth defects.
- DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate): Liquid plasticizers which aids chip and cracking prevention in polishes. Toxic for reproduction, oestrogenic properties, has mutagenic and carcinogenic properties. May cause diabetes.
So you might want to make sure your polishes are:
- Carcinogens: Supposedly only used in cosmetics in small quantities, these are products that have been shown to cause cancer.
- Parabens: Preservatives added to cosmetics, which can have a oestrogenic effect. Which can interact with breast tumours. Similar to the issue I had with plastic water bottles.
- Talc: Easily contaminated with toxic asbestiform fibres, which is known to cause cancers and lung damage.
- Silica: Crystalline silica is a known chemical to cause cancer.
Anyhow I really didn't want to get overly bogged down with science and long complex explanations, if you are interested though you may want to do your own research, especially seeing as I only picked out nail polish as an example!