Toxic and carcinogenic ingredients in personal care products are improperly screened by safety agencies, according to Lorre Diamond, Asheville, a Florida licensed esthetician and educator.
Diamond, the featured speaker at a Tuesday, May 21, event at Jubilee! from 7-9 p.m., is determined educate and inspire others to remove toxic ingredients from their homes.
Flipping through the pages of an industry magazine in 2006, Diamond came across disturbing information about a common chemical called a paraben, and referred to on labels as methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben.
“Though manufacturers commonly use paraben to inhibit microbial growth and extend the shelf life of products, one article by Amanda Gardener found that parabens had been detected in breast cancer tissue.”
That disturbing bit of news led Diamond to more research. “The problem wasn’t just limited to paraben additives. I found that elegant bottles of beauty and personal care products contain A multitude of toxins and carcinogens in exotic fragrances and creamy textures.”
Diamond calls the series of revelations that followed an “inconvenient truth.”
“ I learned that on labels, words such as organic, natural, dermatologist tested, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, and cruelty free are just marketing. Our system is broken.”
The status quo is bleak as Diamond sees it, though she notes some non-profit action groups are making positive inroads. Nevertheless, labeling laws for personal care products do not exist in the United States. Neither the Cosmetic Fragrance and Toiletry Association, nor the Food and Drug Administration require the beauty industry to be forthright on their labels. Product safety testing remains inadequate. Products placed on the shelf in stores without adequate testing include products targeting women, men, teens, and infants, in an ironic sort of gender equality.
Daily, women use 168 difference ingredients , while men use 85 ingredients , children use 61 ingredients, Diamond’s research shows.
“My intensive research left me angry and confused,” says Diamond. “Every day, I was learning more about toxic chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Nitrosamines, so-called “natural” fragrances, 1-4 dioxane, and others.”
For example, in 2006, a team of researchers from the University of California found sunscreen may “do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin, where it actually promotes the harmful compounds it is meant to protect against,” according to the Organic Consumers Association.
The exceptions are those labels on Certified Organic products, says Diamond.
“I began searching in health food stores, on line, through books and trade shows for a product line that would be beneficial, cost-effective, healthy, and void of toxins.”
She also began searching for a better way to work.
“My inconvenient truth made it impossible for me to work in spas or salons with a clear conscious, as I was unwilling to sell and apply their toxic products.”
As a result, Diamond began speaking publicly on the dangers of chemicals and personal care products to as many people and organizations as possible. After a recent study showed hundreds of toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord, she has begun to focus her education on young adults of child bearing as, as well as cancer patients and survivors. Each group has proven susceptibility to synthetic cosmetic ingredients, she notes.
Today, Diamond calls herself an ingredient investigator after the fashion of Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C., author of the book, Dying to Look Good.” She cites Farlow’s text precisely:
“… no one knows the effects of the many different ingredients used in the thousands of different combinations, the effects of using numerous different products, one on top of the other, or the effects of repeated use of ingredients or products over time.”
No one knows, she repeats. Then, she questions.
“No one knows?”
Learn to decipher ingredients on a label, identify the most toxic ingredients in personal care products, and make better, healthier choices to protect your health. Attendees are invited to bring their favorite personal care product for an ingredient check. Cost is $10. The event is Tuesday, May 21, from 7-9 p.m., Jubilee!, 46 Wall Street, Asheville.