Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Are Personal Care Products Harmful?

We use thousands of personal care products today, which are nothing but a compilation of thousands of chemical substances. And research suggests some of these may cause ecological harm.

Personal care product and toiletries (viz. fragrances, soaps) refers to the manufacturers of consumer products used for beautification and in personal hygiene.

If the EPA is to be believed, then the waterbodies in the US have pharmaceuticals present in them. And many of these land up in the environment form medicated cosmetics products that are used. While scientists haven't yet found proof of adverse human health effects from in the environment, it doesn't mean that it's not happening. But it's still good news because rigorous inquiry is the bedrock of science.

Personal care products and pharmaceuticals have in all probability been present in water and the environment since they were invented. Today it's a big industry (US $40 billion) with many major players and numerous who deal in wholesale cosmetics trading. The problem arises when the products we consume are not completely absorbed by our bodies, and are then excreted and flow into wastewater and surface water.

Some common personal care items that contribute to the phenomenon are fragrances, cosmetics, and sun-screen skin care products. However, not all products end up like this, rather it varies. For instance, some are easily disintegrated and broken down by the human body or yield to environmental conditions, other which are difficult to break down enter domestic sewers, etc.

Recently, some personal care products were certified under the new natural seal and standard program. These products which must be made up of at least 95% truly natural ingredients make up for good candidates to break down easily.

Perhaps, when a majority of products comprise substances that can be easily disintegrated, or better ways to process them before they're discarded are discovered, the concerns would be alleviated.

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