It’s no secret that America is full of people who suffer from chronic health conditions. Some of the most common problems include obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Heart disease causes approximately one out of every four deaths in adults in this country. For years, misinformation led people to think that fats and cholesterol cause heart attacks . The fact is, you need both of these things to be healthy.
Many years ago, when I was a young wife and mother, I began my journey of education to learn about good health. An extended family member who is a doctor and I were discussing cancer. He said something I never forgot. It sparked my desire to learn as much as I can about natural living and health remedies. He said many cancers that are prolific in the United States are barely existent elsewhere.
His next statement surprised me. The doctor explained that most cancers develop from toxins we consume, ingest or use topically. Yes, cancer grows from our own cells. However, what we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin may increase the likelihood of it happening. That’s why I wasn’t surprised by what I recently read, more than three decades later. Current studies show that many shampoo and cosmetic products contain an ingredient believed to cause heart disease.
Beauty products shouldn’t contain things that cause heart disease
There’s been a shift in the beauty product market, as well as in other commercial industries, such as food and medicine. More and more people are willing to spend more money to purchase non-toxic items. If your goal is to detoxify your home, you’ll want to learn about phthalates (pronounced: thaal-ates). Phthalates are basically substances that are added to plastic. They make plastic more flexible, more transparent and durable. You might wonder why many commercial shampoo and make-up products contain phthalates.
Side note: This post is about a connection between shampoo, cosmetics and heart disease due to phthalates. However, you’ll want to take note of the fact that the U.S. food supply is also loaded with phthalates! (A topic, perhaps, for a future post.)
Here’s the thing: Phthalates are synthetic (man-made) chemicals. They are known to disrupt the human hormonal system. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that phthalates disrupt the endocrine system. They cause problems with reproduction and brain development and are especially harmful to the immune system.
Heart disease deaths may be closely linked to high levels of phthalates
New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine conducted a study that produced startling conclusions. Researchers at Grossman say the evidence shows that 100,000 or more people die prematurely in the U.S. each year. These deaths appear to be closely connected to high levels of phthalates. Participants whose urine samples contained high levels of phthalates were likely to have a greater risk of dying prematurely. The cause of death was also more likely to be heart disease.
A costly disease that costs the U.S. billions every year
Analysts say that heart disease isn’t only the number one cause of death in America. It’s also one of the most expensive conditions. Heart disease medicine, health care and the loss of productivity it causes cost more than $350 billion dollars, annually. More than 18 million adults ages 20 and beyond (in America) have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). For every 10 CAD-caused deaths, at least two of them happen to people under age 65. Every 40 seconds, someone, somewhere in the U.S. has a heart attack.
Multiple products used regularly build up high levels of phthalates
You might assume that a minuscule amount of phthalates in a specific shampoo or cosmetic isn’t a big deal. However, the Chronic Hazard Advisory of the Consumer Product Safety Commission explains that there’s a cumulative risk involved. Don’t just think of one bottle of but every bottle of shampoo you’ll use in a lifetime, as well as every individual make-up product, etc. Will the level of phthalates in your body skyrocket after one hair-washing? Probably not. But, how many times per week do you wash your hair? There are 52 weeks in year.
Start doing the math to consider your cumulative use of shampoo and cosmetics. It’s easy to see how the level of phthalates may increase. Researchers believe this phthalate-induced cumulative risk to be especially harmful to the male reproductive system. Current data shows that 10% of pregnant women and 5% of infants have been exposed to unsafe levels of phthalates.
Phthalates aren’t the only toxic ingredient in your beauty products
It’s worrisome that synthetic chemicals that make plastic more flexible and cause early death from heart disease are in shampoo. What’s worse is that beauty products are loaded with other toxins, too. Many contain formaldehyde (Remember the frogs in the jar in your high school biology class?) and parabens. The latter is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). The former causes skin irritation, wheezing and watery eyes. Researchers also list it as a possible carcinogen.
What sense does it make to put a known skin irritant in skin lotion?
It’s frustrating and upsetting that our shampoo and beauty products contain harmful substances. Such products are damaging our health and are also likely causing premature death. It’s important to detoxify our homes, and if you’re not sure where to start, this post from our archives might help!