The Toxic Truth Hidden In Your Bathroom Cabinet
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The Toxic Truth Hidden In Your Bathroom Cabinet

In our country's current state of poor cosmetic regulation , even something as simple as your morning routine could prove detrimental to your health.

The Toxic Truth Hidden In Your Bathroom Cabinet

After pressing snooze for longer than I probably should while my alarm blares in my ears, I begin to think of the day ahead. I’m eager to make my way to the bathroom to begin my somewhat typical morning routine. As I turn on the shower and immediately reach for a small bar of green soap, I watch as suds of “natural cucumber essence” cascade to the shower floor. Then, rinsing out and moisturizing my hair with “the natural botanicals of the sea,” my shower fills with the steamy sent of the tropics. I grab an upscale bottle of face wash and close my eyes rubbing “purity” into my skin. My routine finishes with moisturizing with “thirst quenching minerals” and applying what i’d like to call a moderate amount of makeup.

Ladies, does any of this sound familiar? If you’re like me, you probably follow a regular morning routine. You wake up, press snooze or don’t press snooze, drag yourself to the bathroom, and apply your favorite beautifully packaged toxic products all over your body. That's right, I said toxic. The very products you use most frequently may offer promises of “natural radiance” and “purity,” but they may also bring you one step closer to serious health concerns such as cancer and birth defects.

The FDA does little to regulate cosmetic companies. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, The FDA is allowed to regulate chemicals used in cosmetics, but only if there is “reliable” information regarding a serious problem with a product. This has meant that absolutely nothing is done until there is a major public outcry. This is a is a serious concern because it can take years for matters like this to gain attention. Even worse, the FDA often takes years to research, investigate, and decide on these matters.

Cosmetic companies aren't even required to do any specific testing on products with new chemicals before they are put on shelves for their loyal, unknowing consumers to buy. Consumers like me, and like you. All of this poor regulation has allowed for the availability of numerous toxic chemicals on the market today, one being formaldehyde. The U.S. government classifies formaldehyde as being carcinogenic when its fumes are inhaled. Although pure formaldehyde isn't usually poured into cosmetic concoctions, the preservatives used in some products release the toxic substance as a by-product.

Lead acetate is another common toxic substance that is found in hair products all over the united states. It is a neurotoxin that has been outlawed in several countries for nearly a decade, including Europe and Canada. Because it is so readily absorbed through the skin, lead acetate causes toxic levels of lead to accumulate in the blood. It doesn’t just stop at lead and formaldehyde though, there are several other dangerous substances out in today’s market including parabens, often used in moisturizers, toothpastes and makeup to prevent the growth of microbes. Cumulative exposure to paraben-containing products has been linked to disrupted hormone function and an increased risk of breast cancer.

How is it possible that our country is so behind on getting harmful products such as lead acetate and carcinogenic preservatives banned from the market? Clearly, there needs to be a change.

We aren't doing enough to protect our citizens when we are allowing them to consume deadly products on a daily basis. Over 1,300 chemicals have been banned from cosmetic products by the European Union. Perhaps we should look to Europe as a model of success in this department. American people should not have to scrutinize the ingredients in their bathroom cabinets just to make sure that they are safe. I hope one day we can all press snooze for thirty minutes, drag ourselves to the bathroom for our morning routines, and use our favorite products to prepare for the day without the potential for serious health risks.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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