The end of an op-ed this weekend in the Times states, “The precautionary principle suggests that we should be wary of personal products like fragrances unless they are marked phthalate-free. And it makes sense — particularly for children and pregnant women…” This principle has been toted by many in my field as a necessary avoidance. In fact, no phthalate-containing nail polishes, shampoos, perfumes and body lotions can be found at juju or many other forward minded locations peddling safer beauty products. Now, peer-reviewed medical science articles are being written about the absolute link between autism, for example, and exposure to environmental toxins. A wonderful fact-driven migration: from granola crunching health food stores to the JAMA!
The science community knows that Phthalate exposure to pregnant women can lead to their children displaying behavioral issues. So why is this toxic ingredient still being added to hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners? A quick search on “phtalate” in the Environmental Working Group’s website, Skin Deep database, found almost 23,000 products containing phtalates! Sure, I wasn’t surprised to find Versace’s Red Jeans perfume listed, but Aveda’s Detoxifying Shampoo (detoxifying? what a misnomer!) and cleansers from Kiss My Face?!!
My advice for now: avoid buying any product with “phtalate” listed in its ingredients. Moreover, avoid buying any beauty product that lists “fragrance” in its ingredients, unless, there is an asterisk explaining that the fragrance is an unadulterated essential oil. Scary.