Cosmetics Use linked to Altered Body Chemistry

Big drop in chemical levels in teen girls who switched to safer cosmetics

A new study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions can lead to a significant drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body. #MakeUp.

Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study, Environ Health Perspectives; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1510514, 7 March 2016.

Background
Personal care products are a source of exposure to potentially endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) for adolescent girls.

Methods
We enrolled 100 Latina girls in a youth-led, community-based participatory research intervention study to determine whether using personal care products whose labels stated they did not contain these chemicals for three days could lower urinary concentrations. Pre- and post-intervention urine samples were analyzed for phthalate metabolites, parabens, triclosan and BP-3 using high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

Teen girls see big drop in chemical exposure with switch in cosmetics, news.berkeley.edu, 7 March 2016.

Results
Urinary concentrations of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) decreased by 27.4% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): -39.3, -13.2) on average over the 3 day intervention; no significant changes were seen in urinary concentrations of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP). Methyl and propyl paraben concentrations decreased by 43.9% (95% CI: -61.3, -18.8) and 45.4% (95% CI: -63.7, -17.9), respectively. Unexpectedly, concentrations of ethyl and butyl paraben concentrations increased, although concentrations were low overall and not detected in almost half the samples. Triclosan concentrations decreased by 35.7% (95% CI: -53.3, -11.6) and BP-3 concentrations decreased by 36.0% (95% CI: -51.0, -16.4).

Study Links Cosmetics Use to Altered Body Chemistry, fairwarning, 7 March 2016.

Discussion
This study demonstrates that techniques available to consumers, such as choosing personal care products that are labelled to be free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and BP-3, can reduce personal exposure to possible endocrine disrupting chemicals. Involving youth in the design and implementation of the study was key to recruitment, retention, compliance, and acceptability of the intervention.

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