Men’s grooming products are full of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, sperm damage, birth defects and other health problems, an environmental group said Wednesday in a new report.
Environmental Defence said it submitted 17 products, including shampoo, aftershave and deodorant, for laboratory testing and found all had at least one, and up to five, “ingredients of concern” – some of them not listed on the product label.
Some of the products contained phthalates – endocrine disrupters that interfere with hormone function and are thought to play a role in conditions such as obesity, erectile dysfunction, neurological disorders and some types of cancer. The European Union has banned the use of some phthalates in cosmetics. Canada has banned the use of phthalates in children’s toys.
Testing also revealed the presence of 1,4-dioxane, a suspected carcinogen that manufacturers are prohibited from adding but that can show up in small amounts as a byproduct.
The lab also found a variety of artificial musks not well-studied but thought to be toxic and capable of disrupting hormone function.
Aside from the known or suspected effects of these chemicals, their interaction with each other hasn’t been researched extensively.
But the group isn’t hitting the panic button just yet.
“Unless a user has a particular sensitivity to an ingredient, immediate ill effects are unlikely,” the report says. However, “trace exposures add up.”
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