Yesterday marked International Women's Day, a day to celebrate and honour the resilience, strength and successes of women around the world. As part of this celebration, it's important to also acknowledge the potential risks that affect many women—including breast cancer. The sad truth is that numerous everyday products contain ingredients which can disrupt our hormones and increase our risk of developing breast cancer.
These ingredients are referred to as hormone disruptors, chemical compounds which can alter endocrine functions in a way that leads to adverse health effects for humans—such as the increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals can be found within seemingly innocuous items like shampoo, cosmetics, fragrances, detergents and many more products we use every day.
Research from Environmental Working Groups has identified some common hormone-disrupting chemicals such as parabens and phthalates, which are often used in cosmetics products to increase shelf life or enhance the fragrance. Triclosan is another ingredient found in all kinds of personal care items like soap and toothpaste and can interfere with thyroid function when absorbed into the bloodstream. Another very common ingredient is Bisphenol A (BPA), which is often used in food packaging and containers but has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer due to its estrogen-like properties. All these chemicals have been detected at varying levels in both human blood samples and breast milk samples around the world, showing how prevalent they truly are in our everyday lives.
On this Women's Day, we all must become more conscious about these hormone-disrupting chemicals contained in everyday items. We should learn how to identify them on product labels so we can make informed decisions about what to buy for ourselves and our loved ones.
No woman should have to worry about something like this when there are steps we can take to protect ourselves. Be sure to check labels on all your personal care products, including makeup and skincare items, cleaning supplies, plastic containers, and even food packaging, as they can contain these harmful ingredients. Additionally, avoid using polycarbonate plastics (such as water bottles) when possible and choose natural alternatives instead.
Let’s ensure we do everything we can for our health - be informed about what's going into our products! #WomenHealthAwareness