Women Apply an Average of 168 Chemicals on Their Bodies Every Day
Is it any surprise that the lotions, soaps and other products we use to make ourselves look younger or "better" might contain a nasty slew of chemicals?
If you're unsure or want to understand what these chemicals can do to your health, a recent report in The Guardian would be a good place to start. The report says that although many of these chemicals might be harmless, others might be endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurotoxins. Women are particularly at risk since they use more personal products—such as makeup, anti-aging creams and hair products—compared to men.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
The report was based off research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The nonprofit survived about 2,300 people in the U.S., and found that the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. The average man uses six products daily with 85 unique ingredients. By using these products, we might negatively impact our health.
The organization also reported the following:
- 12.2 million adults—one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men—are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.
- One of every 24 women, 4.3 million women altogether, are exposed daily to personal care product ingredients that are known or probable reproductive and developmental toxins, linked to impaired fertility or developmental harm for a baby in the womb or a child.
- These statistics do not account for exposures to phthalates that testing shows appear in an estimated three quarters of all personal care products but that, as components of fragrance, are not listed on product ingredient labels.
- One of every five adults are potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients—hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs and acrylamide. The top most common impurity ranked by number of people exposed is hydroquinone, which is a potential contaminant in products used daily by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent of all men.
You'd think that these products would be thoroughly evaluated for safety before they hit the market. However, no premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into personal care products or the chemical industry as a whole, the EWG said.
"With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA," according to the federal Food and Drug Administration.
So what's the safest skincare regime to follow? According to the EWG, here are some chemicals you want to pay attention to the next time you shop.
- Soap: Avoid triclosan and triclocarban
- Skin moisturizer and lip products: Avoid retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol in daytime products
- Hand sanitizers: Pick ethanol or ethyl alcohol in at least 60 percent alcohol
- Sunscreen: Just say no to SPF above 50, retinyl palmitate, aerosol spray and powder sunscreen, oxybenzone, added insect repellent. Say yes to hats and shade in mid-day sun, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients, otherwise Avobenzone (at 3 percent), SPF 15 to 50, depending on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover. Use a lot and reapply frequently.
- Hair Care: Avoid or limit dark permanent hair dyes, chemical hair straighteners
- Toothpaste: Avoid triclosan
- Nails: Avoid formaldehyde or formalin in polish, hardeners or other nail products. Toluene and Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in polish. Pregnant? Skip polish
Here are some tips the EWG esspecially came up for women:
And for teens and tweens:
For more recommendations on what not to buy and chemicals to look out for at the store, consult their "Top tips for safer products" webpage.
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theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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