7 Chemicals in Everyday Products that Cause Breast Cancer

Each day people apply an array of products to their skin, hair, and nails such as lotion, deodorant, nail color, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and the list goes on. People have different reasons for using each concoction, but, in general, they perform the ritual of using products for cleaning, beautifying, or in order to prevent aging (and oftentimes a combination of all three).

It’s no surprise that people want to have good hygiene and will go to great lengths to keep their skin looking healthy throughout their life. Applying makeup to enhance one’s natural beauty has been a ritual of women in all cultures and throughout all of history. There is nothing inherently wrong in practicing good hygiene, skin care routines, and beauty rituals unless the products used are harboring a dangerous secret.

The types of products used for skin care, hygiene, and beauty have undergone a makeover since the beginning of the industrial age. Pre-industry makeup and skin care products were made of natural materials such as olive oil and castor oil for skin balms, essential oils for fragrance, and different plant materials were used to make stains for the lips or cheeks.

In contrast, modern beauty products are mass-produced, so short cuts and cheaper materials are being used to manufacture them and to preserve them. The products found in the hygiene, skincare, and makeup industries of the modern age all make claims of how they will aid and enhance the body, but what the advertisements omit is that many of these products are made of toxic chemicals. Not all of the ingredients in these products are harmful, but many of the synthetic chemicals used have been linked to diseases such as breast cancer.

Given the fact that there are so many products on the market today and there are very few regulatory standards that cosmetic manufacturing companies must adhere to, it is wise to learn the names of different chemicals that have been tested and linked to breast cancer.

This can be a daunting task because these products contain so many synthetic chemicals and sometimes only small amounts of the natural substances advertised on the label. Learning about some of the common synthetic chemicals in personal care products is a good place to start in order to keep you from slathering on cancer causing products.

Here is a list and short description of seven worrisome ingredients that you should always look out for on labels.

1. Phthalates are found in nail polish and synthetic fragrances. They are also found in many products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient but do not disclose the ingredients in the fragrance used. This is a loophole for manufacturers to avoid listing this harmful ingredient on the labels of their products.

Phthalates have been found to cause birth defects and reproductive issues in animals tested and they are endocrine disrupters which are considered a risk factor for breast cancer. Be careful when purchasing the nail polish brands OPI, Milani, and Nail Tech because they all contain Dibutyl Phthalate, which should be looked for on all labels before purchase.

2. 1,4-dioxane is found in shampoos, body wash, and children’s bath products and is considered to be an anticipated carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Carcinogens create free radicals in the body and are linked to cancer. 1,4-dioxane is a petroleum-derived substance and is used as a sudsing agent in these aforementioned products.

3. Ethylene Oxide is found in fragrances and shampoos and has been identified as a mammary carcinogen in animal tests. It is classified as a human carcinogen. Attitude brand shampoos and kid’s body washes contain fragrance as an ingredient, which the Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep website sites as having both 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide.

4. Placental Extract is derived from human or animal placentas and is often used in shampoos, conditioners, and grooming aids which are generally made and marketed to women of color. Progesterone has been identified in placental extract. Because progesterone is a hormonal contaminant it may be linked to breast cancer and is currently identified by the National Toxicology Program as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.

5. Lead is found in over 650 cosmetic products, which include lipsticks, foundation, nail color, sunscreen, as well as whitening toothpaste. Lead is considered a neurotoxin and its use has been linked to developmental problems as well as problems with conceiving and carrying children. Beware of lipsticks made by Maybelline, L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Nars because they are all known to contain lead. This has been proven and stated by the FDA, although the FDA has said they do not think the levels are high enough to cause problems in the body. Yet, this information is contradictory to the fact that lead builds in the body over prolonged use. Therefore, it is wisest to avoid these products and opt for lead-free lipsticks.

6. Aluminum is most commonly found in antiperspirant, though aluminum powder is also found in many cosmetics. It is a metal that mimics estrogen and clogs sweat pores and prohibits detoxing through the sweat pores. It may also cause damage to DNA. Studies have found concentrated amounts of aluminum in the breast tissue where breast cancer has been diagnosed in some patients.

When choosing underarm sweat protection, it is best to choose deodorants rather than antiperspirants because of the fact that aluminum is dangerous and clogs pores. Most antiperspirants contain aluminum and even “natural” brands, such as Tom’s of Maine, contain aluminum.Revlon, Maybelline, and L’Oreal all make eye shadow that contains aluminum. Sally Hansen and Wet n’ Wild brands of nail polish typically contain aluminum, as well as Cover Girl mascara.

7. Parabens are found on the labels of many common products. Typically they are found in lotions, cosmetics, and antiperspirants. Parabens mimic estrogen and may be linked to breast cancer. These chemicals are added to products even though there has never been a study that determines their safety, yet there are studies that show that they are dangerous. When looking for parabens on labels, it’s smart to avoid any products that have words containing the prefixes or suffixes “ethyl,” “butyl,” “methyl,” or “propyl” because they are indicators of parabens in the product.

Sunscreen labels should be scrutinized before determining that they are safe for applying on the skin. Many sunscreens contain some of the chemicals mentioned above as well as titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is a known carcinogen, but it is more dangerous when inhaled. This should be taken into consideration when purchasing aerosol sunscreen sprays because the titanium dioxide becomes airborne and may be inhaled by those using it or near it.

The industrialization of cosmetics and skin care products has made it easier to purchase these items and not have to rely on making them, but they also pose a great amount of risk on the user if one does not choose the products wisely. Fortunately, there are options that are not toxic to the body and these are available online and in some stores.

Here are some safer choices in cosmetics,according to the Environmental Working Group’s website Skindeep: Coastal Classic Creations, which has the highest rating of safety with a score of 0-1 on all of their products, Zosimos Botanicals, with a rating of 0-2 on all of their products, and Miessence, which has rating between 0-2 also. These are just a few of the companies that are making the choice to have cleaner cosmetics and skin care products.

A great resource to get all the information on toxic or nontoxic ingredients is the Environmental Working Group’s database Skindeep, which allows you to search through products to see which toxins may be lurking in your favorite products.

About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

Which wonderful friends in your life would appreciate this information about everyday product chemicals? Are they unknowingly using these deadly products?

Please help them by sharing this eye-opening article with each of them using any of the social media and email buttons below.





26 responses to “7 Chemicals in Everyday Products that Cause Breast Cancer”

  1. Pauline Root Avatar
    Pauline Root

    Great Article on causes of cancer.

  2. Zully Kammann Avatar
    Zully Kammann

    Thank you for your help.
    I want to know how can I buy the best products?? Do you know any Iphone application that help to screen the products??

    Thank you!

    1. Peggy Brow Avatar
      Peggy Brow

      We have used Young Living products for three years. They have not just essential oils, but household cleaners, personal care products and vitamin supplements. No chemicals. Wish we had discovered this company years ago. They are over 20 years old now and more people are discovering them daily.

  3. candi baker Avatar
    candi baker

    wish more people knew this…

  4. Kim Avatar

    The environmental working group has a free app that helps. It’s called EWG’s skin deep- you can even scan barcodes to get info on products in their database.


    Thank you for this information. My mother died from DDT poisoning in the mid-1980’s, Too bad there was not enough known how deadly the DDT was back then….so again thank you so much for this information on these products…Maria

  6. Florence Green Avatar
    Florence Green

    This article was very informative, but I tried to email to family members, it would not take the names when I clicked the email icon at the end of the article. How do I forward this article?

  7. Angel07 Avatar

    How about the products that claim “all natural ingredients” and the latest ones Goat milk products?

  8. Susan Grimes Avatar
    Susan Grimes

    Wow this is scary how many of these products do we use everyday!?

  9. ThinkBeyondThePink Avatar

    First of all, I am a breast cancer survivor and thus very concerned about the causes of disease. While it is true that bombarding our bodies with toxins and endocrine disruptors like parabens can contribute to cancer, it is misleading to say they cause it. I have never been the type to use a lot of products, no hair sprays, little makeup, no sun screens etc. and I got bc. There are other, more relevant factors.
    Breast cancer , and all cancers are complex diseases with a lot of contributing factors such as poor nutrition, stress, and iodine deficiency. I won’t go into details because it would take a book.
    While I hope that women will take care in using products, shampoos generally wash off, so that is not as big of an issue as wipe on products.
    That said, I would not look to Skindeep or the EWG as a source of any information. They are nothing more than political orgs who rake in lots of donations from half truths that they profess they are helping us to learn about. Look at their board and you will not see any scientific researchers-jus a bunch of political hacks. And you can bet they are giving lots of the money they launder for the poltical campaigns of those who share their convictions. I feel so used by all these “orgs” that rake in money by fear mongering. They use those of us who have suffered from breast cancer to get sympathy for their cause, which is just to help political action groups.
    There are good products out there, just educate yourself and do not live with fear. Knowledge is power.

  10. Karin Edla Avatar
    Karin Edla

    Thank you for your informative letter. i am an esthetician and have been concerned with product ingredients for 25 years. I use professional products that are free from questionable ingredients but have used OPI for a long time on my toes. I checked EWG and they said OPI began eliminating the toxic trio back in 2006 and have been clean since 2009. Your information suggests we should steer clear of OPI. This is why I have such a hard time with info from what I assume are reputable companies but upon checking they don’t have their facts right AND you were suggesting we look at EWG for more info.

  11. Kay Avatar

    Read the book “no more dirty looks.” I have found 100% pure uses fruits and such in their products and doesn’t contain all the “dirty” stuff that others cosmetics do.

  12. Deloris Avatar

    Susan Sommers has a line of products that are free of these ingredients and are from natural ingred.

  13. elsa Avatar

    Hi Emma,
    Thank you.

  14. Jane Avatar

    Very interesting article, but I find that it needs more credability. Thanks for the heads-up!

  15. Priscilla Avatar

    What a great article. Thank you!

  16. Jacque Christy Avatar
    Jacque Christy

    Great article… thank you. I sent you a long email before I saw this Leave a reply form. I hope you will read it since I sent you my most treasured information about “The Truth About Cancer” Quest for the Cures docu-series of 11 episodes on YouTube.

  17. sara Avatar

    Thank you so much for the useful information.I was surprised when i realized how many things we use everyday that are toxic.Thank you so much!

  18. sara Avatar

    Thank you so much for the useful information.I was surprised when i realized how many things we use everyday that are toxic.Thanx!

  19. Sharon Avatar

    It there a website we can go to to replace these items with something more natural and not cancer causing.

  20. Terry Offord Avatar
    Terry Offord

    As a Toiletries and Chemical Manufacturer, I must disagree with a number of your comments concerning carcinogenic chemicals. Your article is frightening to anyone lacking ‘chemical knowledge and intended to assist in marketing unknown (to myself) products by companies I have no knowledge of.
    Take TiOx, a harmless white Pigment which is also used in paint, in medication tablets (due to its neutrality, often used in powder and cream products,.Pthalates, Dibutylpthalate is used as a solvent,fixative, anti foam agent, used in Insect Sprays.The Parabens, Ehtyl, Methyl, Butyl etc are used as anti fungal agents in minute amounts and whilst many so-called ‘Natural’ cosmetics refrain from using any form of antifungal agents, they are actually dangerous as they have no self sterilising chemical in them and resulting from a lack of anti fungal antiseptic agents, creams especially are easily infected as soon as human fingers are stuck into the jar/pot etc. Lavender oil, Rosemary, oils (are deadly poison), if taken internally but they are safe to use in the minute amounts which are found in toiletries. Some of the names you mention may or may not use chemicals which you attribute to dangerous carcinogens, when they do, they are there for a specific purpose and have been in use without problems for fifty or more years. Many of the so called Natural Cosmetics lack preservatives, they lack anti fungal agents and generally hide behind a long list of mumbo jumbo names , using the so called Plant Extracts’ Latin Names. Many plant oils can cause Photosensitivity, (Lavender is a particularly bad one for some people’s skin) I don’t think it is a good idea to to create fear by mentioning commonly used FDA approved items, many of which are essential toward creating a lasting fragrance, or a creme emulsion which doesn’t break down at ambient temperatures etc.,
    Terry K Offord, Mng Director Wilkinson Offord Laboratories Ltd.,

  21. louise bausman Avatar
    louise bausman

    i did hair for 30 yr i got breast cancer milk duct i`v had it for 8 yr it rare type i have not got the all clear yet.

  22. Lesley Avatar

    I think I am surprised that there is a debate about proven chemicals in the things we use. I had my GYN tell me many years ago, to be careful what I put on my body because it goes into the blood stream. I have done that and stuck with products that have minimum if no chemicals. Light cleansing everyday internally with herbs or teas, etc. is great to keep toxicity to a minimum as well as eating as healthy and non processed as possible.

  23. Toula Avatar

    What is the FDA doing about all this? The FDA is a joke all these companies want to kill us and nothing is being done about it. I’m moving from the United States enough is enough. So many ingredients are banned in Europe but not here.Spread the word these companies need to be shut down.

  24. Joan E. Avatar

    Bottom line: It’s ALL about the $$$.?
    Get on the Govt. FDA & USDA recall lists. You’ll be surprised to see what foods, drugs are being recalled. I do the drug recalls at a Hospital Pharmacy. Hospira is notorios for recalls ie..Glass fragments in injectable vials…etc.
    Top stores that have groceries have recall’s too…IE Trader Joe’s, Costco, etc…..?

  25. Margie Petrone Avatar
    Margie Petrone

    Thank you for taking the time to give us great information. Enjoyed the reading and hope this reaches many who care about their health and well being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *