Green is the New Pink

Stop Putting Cancer-causing Chemicals on Your Face

Many beauty ingredients have been linked to breast cancer.


Endocrine Disruptors

Perturbateurs endocriniens : tous intoxiqués?

Les nouveaux poisons de notre quotidien

Enquête de santé, Allo Docteurs France 5, 01/02/2017.

Un documentaire / débat diffusé le 31 janvier 2017 sur France 5.



Les perturbateurs endocriniens, substances chimiques, sont présentes dans de nombreux objets de consommation courante : plastiques, résidus de pesticides sur les fruits et légumes, OGM, cosmétiques, lunettes, semelles de chaussures… Ils interagissent avec le système hormonal et seraient responsables de l’augmentation de certains cancers, selon des associations impliquées dans les problèmes de santé liés à l’environnement.

Sur le même sujet

Le Distilbène, Perturbateur Endocrinien

Soins du corps : n’achetez pas de cosmétiques (non bio ou non écologiques)

Biocoop et l’achat responsable, 2014

Le visuel pousse les gens à s’interroger sur leur acte de consommation et sur certains ingrédients des produits cosmétiques et d’hygiène corporelle.

A travers sa campagne 2014 de data-telling, Biocoop poursuivit son discours de sensibilisation sur la portée de l’acte d’achat. Les images présentent des produits de consommation courante et montrent les effets néfastes sur la planète et pour notre santé.

Aquatic life needs further protection from effects of personal care products

An aggregate analysis of personal care products in the environment: identifying the distribution of environmentally-relevant concentrations

Personal care products (PCPs) are a diverse group of products, including toothpaste, shampoo, make-up and soaps. The number and use of these products has increased over recent decades, generating concern about their impact on the environment. This literature review analysed over 5 000 reports of environmental detection of 95 different chemicals from PCPs. The analysis reveals toxic levels of PCP chemicals in raw and treated wastewater, and in surface water. The researchers recommend treatment methods focusing on antimicrobials, UV filters and fragrance molecules.


An aggregate analysis of personal care products in the environment: Identifying the distribution of environmentally-relevant concentrations, science direct, Environment International, Volumes 92–93, July–August 2016, Pages 301–316, September 2016.

Lines on surface by patricksinot.

Over the past 3–4 decades, per capita consumption of personal care products (PCPs) has steadily risen, resulting in increased discharge of the active and inactive ingredients present in these products into wastewater collection systems. PCPs comprise a long list of compounds employed in toothpaste, sunscreen, lotions, soaps, body washes, and insect repellants, among others. While comprehensive toxicological studies are not yet available, an increasing body of literature has shown that PCPs of all classes can impact aquatic wildlife, bacteria, and/or mammalian cells at low concentrations. Ongoing research efforts have identified PCPs in a variety of environmental compartments, including raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, surface water, wastewater solids, sediment, groundwater, and drinking water.

Here, an aggregate analysis of over 5000 reported detections was conducted to better understand the distribution of environmentally-relevant PCP concentrations in, and between, these compartments. The distributions were used to identify whether aggregated environmentally-relevant concentration ranges intersected with available toxicity data. For raw wastewater, wastewater effluent, and surface water, a clear overlap was present between the 25th–75th percentiles and identified toxicity levels.

This analysis suggests that improved wastewater treatment of antimicrobials, UV filters, and polycyclic musks is required to prevent negative impacts on aquatic species.

Cosmetics use and age at menopause: is there a connection?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals and reproductive disorders


Cosmetics contain a vast number of chemicals, most of which are not under the regulatory purview of the Food and Drug Administration.

Only a few of these chemicals have been evaluated for potential deleterious health impact: parabens, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and siloxanes.

A review of the ingredients in the best-selling and top-rated products of the top beauty brands in the world, as well as a review of highlighted chemicals by nonprofit environmental organizations, reveals 11 chemicals and chemical families of concern: butylated hydroxyanisole/butylated hydroxytoluene, coal tar dyes, diethanolamine, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parabens, phthalates, 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, siloxanes, talc/asbestos, and triclosan.

Cosmetics use and age at menopause: is there a connection?, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages Pages 978–990, September 15, 2016.

“Cosmetics” image akiraohgaki.

Age at menopause can be affected by a variety of mechanisms, including endocrine disruption, failure of DNA repair, oxidative stress, shortened telomere length, and ovarian toxicity.

There is a lack of available studies to make a conclusion regarding cosmetics use and age at menopause. What little data there are suggest that future studies are warranted. Women with chronic and consistent use of cosmetics across their lifespan may be a population of concern.

More research is required to better elucidate the relationship and time windows of vulnerability and the effects of mixtures and combinations of products on ovarian health.

Could your deodorant cause breast cancer?

Aluminium salts could be environmental breast carcinogens


Aluminium salts, present in many industrial products of frequent use like antiperspirants, anti-acid drugs, food additives and vaccines, have been incriminated in contributing to the rise in breast cancer incidence in Western societies. However, current experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis is limited. For example, no experimental evidence that aluminium promotes tumorigenesis in cultured mammary epithelial cells exists.

Aluminium chloride promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells, wiley, 7 September 2016.

We report here that long-term exposure to concentrations of aluminium—in the form of aluminium chloride (AlCl3)—in the range of those measured in the human breast, transform normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) epithelial cells in vitro as revealed by the soft agar assay. Subcutaneous injections into three different mouse strains with decreasing immunodeficiency, namely, NOD SCID gamma (NSG), NOD SCID or nude mice, revealed that untreated NMuMG cells form tumors and metastasize, to a limited extent, in the highly immunodeficient and natural killer (NK) cell deficient NSG strain, but not in the less permissive and NK cell competent NOD SCID or nude strains. In contrast, NMuMG cells transformed in vitro by AlCl3 form large tumors and metastasize in all three mouse models. These effects correlate with a mutagenic activity of AlCl3.

We should avoid all deodorants containing aluminium salts.

Our findings demonstrate for the first time that concentrations of aluminium in the range of those measured in the human breast fully transform cultured mammary epithelial cells, thus enabling them to form tumors and metastasize in well-established mouse cancer models. Our observations provide experimental evidence that aluminium salts could be environmental breast carcinogens.

Environmental toxicants: hidden players on the reproductive stage

Endocrine disrupting chemicals: female and male reproduction


A growing body of evidence suggests that environmental contaminants, including natural gas, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and air pollution, are posing major threats to human reproductive health.

Many chemicals are in commonly used personal care products, linings of food containers, pesticides, and toys, as well as in discarded electronic waste, textile treatments, and indoor and outdoor air and soil. They travel across borders through trade, food, wind, and water.

Reproductive and other health effects can be incurred by exposures in utero, in the neonatal or adolescent periods, or in adulthood and can have transgenerational effects.

Environmental toxicants: hidden players on the reproductive stage, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 791–794, September 15, 2016.

Most chemicals do not undergo the level of evaluation for harm that pharmaceuticals, e.g., do, and they are rarely seen or seriously considered as a danger to human health.

Herein, the burden of exposures, challenges in assessing data and populations at risk, models for evaluating harm, and mechanisms of effects are briefly reviewed, ending with a call to action for reproductive health care professionals to advocate for further research, education, and chemical policy reform for the health of this and future generations.

The personal care products negative impacts on aquatic species

Aquatic life needs further protection from effects of PCPs

In order to fulfill a broad range of functions, personal care products (PCPs) contain a wide range of chemicals, from filters that block out UV light to antibiotics and insect repellents. PCPs are generally washed off the skin and, as a result, chemicals from PCPs have been found in raw and treated wastewater, surface and ground water, and even drinking water.

There are potential human health implications from ingesting these chemicals by way of drinking water or seafood. In addition, the entry of PCPs into surface waters could be toxic for aquatic organisms. Some PCP chemicals that repel water are particularly difficult to remove during wastewater treatment (which aims to protect the environment from the adverse effects of pollution) and can accumulate up the food chain. Wastewater solids (sludge) and effluent are in some cases applied to land to improve soil and for irrigation purposes, respectively, creating a risk that these compounds will indirectly enter nearby water bodies, or food crops. Early findings suggest wastewater treatment processes do not always ensure a safe concentration of PCP chemicals.

Aquatic life needs further protection from effects of personal care products, Science for Environment Policy, 16 September 2016.

Lines on surface by patricksinot.

This review combined recent findings to build a picture of the concentrations of chemicals from PCPs found in the environment. The researchers collected over 5 000 environmental detections of PCPs from around the world, including several European countries. The concentrations of the 95 detected chemicals were added to a database. Most environmental detections (2 290) were in surface water, followed by 1 240 detections in wastewater effluent, 879 in wastewater solids, and 873 in raw wastewater. By comparing the data on occurrence with toxicity data, also from previously published studies, they found that some levels measured in raw wastewater, wastewater effluent and surface water could be toxic to aquatic life.

The results also emphasise just how ubiquitous these chemicals are in the aquatic environment. Many chemicals were detected in the wastewater of several countries, such as the fragrance compound tonalide; nonylphenol (used to manufacture antioxidants, detergents and emulsifiers); the UV filter benzophenone-3 (used in sunscreen); and the anti-microbial agent triclosan. The highest reported concentrations were in North America and Europe, likely because per-capita consumption is higher in these areas.

The literature review showed that, after treatment, concentrations of chemicals from PCPs in wastewater can be reduced by between 33% and 90%. The UV filter octinoxate showed the highest average removal efficiency by wastewater treatment, while nonylphenol showed the lowest. In some cases, chemicals in treated wastewater remain above a level which has been shown to have harmful effects on aquatic organisms (such as the fragrance compound galaxolide, detected above a level of 0.1 micrograms per litre, and anti-bacterial triclosan, which has been detected above toxicologically-relevant concentrations of 0.65 micrograms per litre). However, it is important to note that aquatic organisms are not exposed directly to the levels in treated wastewater, which is diluted (although not always by a large factor) when it enters the receiving water body, such as a river.

In addition to being diluted, chemicals from PCPs can be broken down in the water body, although some are more resistant to natural attenuation than others. For example, galaxolide, nonylphenol and the UV filters sulisobenzone and 4MBC are generally removed well, while others are more resistant, such as octinoxate, the insecticide N,N-diethyl-3- methylbenzamide (DEET) and paraben preservatives. On average, concentrations in surface water were around half those in wastewater effluent.

Chemicals from PCPs have been detected in the environment for at least 30 years, and as PCP consumption and production increases, the implications for the environment will become even greater. As such, the researchers make three recommendations for the future:

  1. Continued monitoring. Monitoring should be conducted for compounds that have known toxic effects on organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations. They recommend that UV filters, polycyclic musks (a type of fragrance chemical; these include tonalide and galaxolide) and triclosan be considered priorities.
  2. Expand analysis to new compounds. Only a small proportion of the hundreds of PCP chemicals have been monitored in the environment so far. It is important to expand analysis to new compounds. Understanding the environmental distribution and concentrations of all chemicals from PCPs — as well as their derivatives — will allow toxicity analysis to be made more relevant, and enable evidence-based decision-making.
  3. Developing effective treatment processes. There is a need for more effective methods of treating water to remove/de-toxify chemicals from PCPs, particularly those of highest concern, to prevent negative impacts on aquatic species and on people.

It should be noted that the full removal of PCP chemicals by urban wastewater treatment plants is difficult, expensive and has environmental impacts (e.g. use of energy and chemicals, contaminated sludge disposal). It is an EU principle that a preventive approach should be taken in relation to environmental damage, with the aim of tackling it at source, for example by not authorising chemicals that could be harmful, or by restricting use. Legislation is in place to prompt or require consideration of alternative chemicals should those present in products on the market be identified as posing a risk to the environment or human health.

Endocrine Society Experts Urged EU to Protect Public from Chemical Exposure

Science-based regulation needed to address danger of endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Washington, DC – To protect human health, Endocrine Society members called on the European Commission to adopt science-based policies for regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals in an opinion piece published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) mimic, block or interfere with the body’s hormones – the chemical signals that regulate brain development, reproduction, metabolism, growth and other important biological functions. EDCs can be found in common products including food containers, plastics, cosmetics and pesticides.

Endocrine Society Experts Urge EU to Protect Public from Chemical Exposure, The Endocrine Society, June 13, 2016.

Pool image Richard P J Lambert.

More than 1,300 studies have linked EDC exposure to health problems such as infertility, diabetes, obesity, hormone-related cancers and neurological disorders, according to the Endocrine Society’s 2015 Scientific Statement. Recent studies have found that adverse health effects from EDC exposure cost the European Union more than €157 billion each year in healthcare expenses and lost productivity.

“A growing body of research has found endocrine-disrupting chemicals pose a threat not only to those who are directly exposed, but to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,”
“We need to protect the public and future generations with regulations that address the latest scientific findings and incorporate new information from emerging research.”

said the Society’s European Union Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Task Force Co-Chair Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, MD, PhD, first author of the opinion piece, of the University of Liège in Liège, Belgium.

The European Commission has proposed four options for regulatory criteria identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The Endocrine Society supports option 3, which would create multiple categories based on the amount of scientific evidence that a particular chemical acts as an endocrine disruptor. This option also allows for incorporating new data as more studies are published.

In The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the authors note that other options being considered either don’t define endocrine-disrupting chemicals as clearly or include problematic criteria. Option 4 uses potency – the amount of chemical exposure needed to produce an effect – as one criterion. Since EDCs can have different and more dangerous effects when an individual is exposed to low levels, measuring potency could cause regulators to overlook endocrine disruptors that pose a true threat.

“Because of the way hormones work, even low-level exposure can disrupt the way the body grows and develops,”
“Pregnant women, babies and children are particularly vulnerable, and science-based regulations are needed to protect them.”

Bourguignon said.

Science-based regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe: which approach?, the lancet,
, 13 June 2016.

Other authors of the opinion piece include: Rémy Slama of Inserm, CNRS and University Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble, France; Åke Bergman of the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center in Södertälje, Sweden; Barbara Demeneix of Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France; Richard Ivell of the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, U.K.; Andreas Kortenkamp of Brunel University London in Uxbridge, U.K.; GianCarlo Panzica of the University of Torino and Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi in Orbassano, Italy; Leonardo Trasande of New York University School of Medicine in New York, NY; and R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Can Phthalates Exposure in Utero affect Lifelong Physical Activity?

Avoid endocrine disruptors as much as possible, especially if you are pregnant

A common chemical found in many cosmetics and personal care products may influence our will to exercise…

Mice exposed prenatally to benzyl butyl phthalate (B.B.P.) were less likely than other mice (control group) to exercise as adults.

Male mice exposed to B.B.P. in utero had notably lower levels of testosterone – than the other animals – in young adulthood.
Exposed females similarly developed during young adulthood low estrogen levels and other reproductive system abnormalities that then produced a profound desire, it seems, to sit for most of the day…

Exposure to environmental toxins before birth might change babies’ physiology in ways that affect their interest in exercise throughout their lives.

Sources – Press Releases
  • Could Environmental Chemicals Shape Our Exercise Habits?, The Times, 2016/06/29.
  • Study: Common Chemicals Might Affect Exercise Habits, opposingviews, June 29, 2016.