Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Naked Toes

In a 2005 study, researchers found an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns.

Safe chemicals is a feminist issue. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of women's health organizations and environmental organizations, analyzed the ingredients in hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products and found that ONE IN FIVE personal care products contain chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive problems and birth defects.  What's even crazier is that the cosmetic and personal care industries are not regulated by a government agency like the FDA, so these companies get off scott-free with poisoning our bodies.

Now to the topic of my post: my naked toe nails. About four months ago I began my own chemical cleanse. Those that know me know that I am a make-up and beauty product whore.  I thought switching all of my products over to safe products (no cancer-causing pthalates, petrochemicals, triclosan, lead, formaldehyde, or 1, 4-dioxane) would be a huge pain.  Surprisingly I was wrong.

The only products I have left to switch are my hair conditioner (let me know if you have suggestions!) and nail polish.  Now, I actually know which nail polish i need to switch to, but I keep forgetting. 

Now it's warm outside and I am sporting my flipflops with boringly naked toesies. I know it sounds silly but I had a hard time deciding not to give in and paint my toes with the polish i already have.  Yes, I still use my "bad" conditioner and I will until I find an adequate replacement, but nail polish is a whole other story.

Nail polish contains dibutyl pthalate (DBP), which has been shown to disrupt hormonal systems and
"Phthalate exposure in pregnant women, as measured by urine samples, has been associated with a shortened distance between the anus and genitals in male babies, indicating a feminization had occurred during genital development. Shorter anogenital distance is characteristic of female sex in both humans and animals. Other research in humans has shown that baby boys exposed to phthalates in breast milk had alterations in their hormone levels."

As a pregnant woman there are LOTS of things I can't do, can't eat, etc. and some are easier to avoid than others.  My decision to avoid nail polish until I buy the safe kind is a decision not only for me but for my little embryo growing inside of me.

Sometimes I can't understand why the feminist community as a whole hasn't taken up the issue of safe cosmetics--these toxic chemicals are linked to breast cancer (among other types of cancer), reproductive problems, and birth defects. I know that hazardous chemicals are everywhere and practically impossible to avoid, but that doesn't mean that we should knowingly rub cancer causing lotions on our bodies everyday.  We should fight these cosmetic companies to make their products safer and also urge the US government to ban pthalates and other chemicals linked to cancer from personal care products.  The UK did--so why can't we?

1 comment:

  1. I think I may have told you this Sam, but last congressional session in Colorado there was a Safe Cosmetics bill trying to be pushed through by a small group of safe cosmetics lobbyists. Like you said, why wouldn't this pass, and why wouldn't it pass if it makes logical sense? Well...like so many other things in politics, it is political and comes down to money. The big wig cosmetic companies brought there professional lobbyists down from DC to fight the bill, and guess what, it didnt pass. Not only that, but a health store (Vitamin Cottage) fought the bill as well! Shocker, but it was because they wanted to remain the only niche in the CO market for safe cosmetics instead of being required everywhere. Once again, money. Sad really. I totally agree with you that feminist groups should be helping to take up the cause. It needs all the support it can get! -Sommer