Toxic Chemicals in the News: 10/16-10/31

Zoë Furlong October 31, 2015

10/16/15 —Study: Cosmetics Preservatives Found in Marine Mammals( Researchers detected methyl paraben in many samples and its metabolite, called 4-hydroxybenzoic acid or 4-HB, in all of them. Trace amounts of 4-HB were found in polar bears, while higher concentrations were found in dolphins and sea otters.

10/17/15 Why are makeup companies able to give breast cancer patients toxic products?(The Guardian). No industry has aligned itself more closely with the breast cancer movement than the cosmetics industry, but their pink ribbon products all too often contain ingredients that actually increase risk of the disease – and, as if that’s not bad enough, they’re also pushing toxic products on women in active cancer treatment.

10/18/15 Sen. Chuck Schumer wants Halloween face paint tested for dangerous chemicals” (New York Daily News). The feds should test Halloween face paint made in China for truly scary toxic chemicals, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday. According to a report conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 10 face paints the group checked all contained heavy metals and six also had other dangerous chemicals.

10/19/15 Toxic Influence: How a Chemical Industry Trade Group You've Never Heard of Threatens Your Health(The Huffington Post). The public has a right to know about potentially harmful chemicals in products as well as who is influencing its elected officials and regulators.

10/19/15 New Toxic Chemical Bills Add Safety--but Dangers Remain(Scientific AmericanThis fall, the U.S. Congress could enact new laws changing the way chemicals are regulated for the first time in a generation. The question is: Should the bills become law and, if so, would they make Americans safer?

10/20/15 How we are all contributing to the destruction of coral reefs: Sunscreen” (Washington Post).  A new study finds that a single drop of sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone is all it takes to start attacking coral, robbing it of life-giving nutrients and turning it ghostly white. Measurements of oxybenzone in reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million, but adverse effects on coral start with concentrations as low as 62 parts per trillion.

10/20/15 Human body acts as ‘big sponges’ by absorbing air pollutants directly through skin, say scientists” (International Business Times). The absorption of chemicals like phthalates through the skin, called “dermal uptake,” has been found to potentially cause asthma and cancer due to prolonged period of exposure, equivalent to the levels absorbed through breathing.

10/26/15 New York City's Microbead Moment (The Huffington Post). New York City has the opportunity to increase the health of its waterways and take a strong, uncompromising stand to ban the sale of products containing microbeads.

10/27/15 Chemicals in Personal Products May Stimulate Cancer More Than Thought” (Live Science). A new study finds that parabens may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells at doses much lower than previously thought. The study only demonstrated the effects in cells grown in a lab, which may not reflect the same scenario as in an intact biological system. But the study raises concerns that the "safe levels" of parabens used in cosmetic products should be re-evaluated.

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