Cancer and cosmetics

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by _JP_, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. While the gents here don't go around putting a lot of makeup on themselves (usually) we do use many products that have some of the same ingredients that are found in many cosmetics.

    Here's the article

    It's definitely an argument for products containing all natural ingredients.

    So just what is in the products that we use anyway? Bookmark this thread.
  2. Bah

    That's just paranoia
  3. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    I have had skin cancer and had numerous talks with my dermatologist and my oncologist and they have NEVER mentioned anything like that, nor has anyone else I've known. My two cents, this is all bogus.

    And often people have the misconception that carcinogens don't exist in natural products, another TOTAL fallacy.
  4. You are flogging a dead horse here JP. I have been trying to educate people on this very subject for about ten years. There is nothing more powerful than the power of denial. As to an oncologist never mentioning these dangers, that doesn't surprise me at all. If any doctor tried to teach this lesson to his/her patients, his/her colleages would crucify him/her,... (isn't trying to be politically correct exhausting?) ...You only have to look at Dr Andrew Wakefield to see that. In any case, I think that most doctors are as ignorant on this subject as the average man on the street. To your detractors I would say this: there is much more to this than you are aware of, think of the vested interests involved, where does the money come from for scientific research?, do you really believe that these huge chemical companies have you best interests at heart? Do your health a favour and visit these websites with an open mind: and Incidentally, my wife too has had skin cancer. We are treating it with a product called Curaderm and it is all but gone, no surgery, no biopsy no nuthin.
  5. It's true. There are a lot of extermely toxic chemicals added to our food, our air, cosmetics, cigarettes, water etc. Mostly because they are a by product of industry and it is cheaper to put them in products than to dispose of them legally. Fluoride added to water for example is a by product of aluminium production. There is no viable way the aluminium foundries could dispose of it all without causing an environmental disaster more severe than an oil spill, so it was decided that everybody could drink just a bit of it and our livers would do the detoxifying. After that they only needed some excuse to feed it us. Well, waste not wnat not...

    But really, what we pay for, we have voted in favour of. Buy organic, and you've told manufactureres how you want your world to be, and they will respond.
  6. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    I'm NOT an expert, but this isn't about skin cancer, its about the accumulation of known carcinogens in one's system.

    I'm not a fear monger, but I have started looking more closely to what's in my shaving/cosmetic products. While I'm not throwing everything I own with parabens in the garbage, I am being more selective about the new products I buy.

    Soaps seem to have less of these sorts of chemicals than creams for some reason.
  7. I'm not a fear monger, but I have started looking more closely to what's in my shaving/cosmetic products. While I'm not throwing everything I own with parabens in the garbage, I am being more selective about the new products I buy.


    Parabens are used to preserve things like cosmetics so that they have a long shelf life. I understand up to two years in some cases. Parabens are known as xenoestogens, my spelling may be off. These are compounds that when they enter the body form estrogen. Estrogen is the female hormone that plays a tremendous role in fertility. Elevated levels of estrogen in women have been linked to breast cancer and other significant health problems

    Studies have in fact shown that generally men today have elevated levels of estrogen in their systems. What are we doing with elevated estrogen levels in our bodies?

    Now the amount of estrogen that we're talking about is very low and that's the kicker here - the people who profit from selling stuff with parabens stress the low levels of estrogen and those who wonder why men should have any added estrogen think that low levels are levels that are too high.

    Now, IMO, if someone told me that I had an elevated testosterone level I don't think I'd mind as much as knowing that I had elevated levels of female hormones coursing through my body. Others may disagree. I know a fellow who said to me, "Hey this may mean that I lose the hair on my chest and start to regrow the hair on my head! Right on!"
  8. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Show me the study that definitively proves any one of these ingredients (used in the same amount/percentage) gives people cancer. I'm not talking about speculation from pulling choice suggestions from multiple studies and patch-working them together to suit your point. Show me something I can sink my teeth into.

    In the immortal words of an old coach, "without verification, its all blue sky and BS."
  9. I'm with Kyle on this one.

  10. +1000
  11. If anything, Epidemiology's taught me that you shouldn't jump to any kind of conclusion after reading one study. Even then, studies can be flawed, and contradictory results can be found, data manipulated, etc. If you seriously feel that certain products you use might cause cancer, then sure, go ahead and forgo them. But I for one, will not give up my beloved Tabac shaving soap:w00t:
  12. Yup. The problem with the studies is that they may find a correlation, for example an Alzheimer patient has a higher rate of Aluminium than a normal person. This does not determine the cause and effect. Does the Aluminium cause the Alzheimer? Or does Alzheimer cause an increase in the uptake of Aluminium. Or could it be some other unidentified agent(s) that cause(s) this relationship to occur? How high is the concentration used? Often higher concentrations are used on animals which humans are not exposed to. Is this comparable to what we are exposed to everyday? One has to be careful about generalizing findings in laboratories when isolating one variable. In real life there are many variables.

    There are numerous environmental and genetical factors that affect us everyday. Science is not straightforward, it is chaotic, and limited by it's own methods. The Aluminium-hypothesis was put forward in 1965. Surely, more than 40 years of reserach should have been able to pin this down. But the fact that experts are still unsure, points towards that it is likely that there are multiple factors rather than one single cause.

    Personally, for me this is like being afraid of dying in an airplane crash (being afraid without any legitimate reason). There's a much greater chance of dying in a car crash (there are other more immediate health issues, such as overweight). So if you want to live longer, eat healthier and exercise more (which I am sure most B&B members do since they care about grooming in the first place). :biggrin:
  13. Gents:

    I would be interested in your interpretation of the following data from the US Dept of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program on triethanolamine which is a fairily common ingredient in shaving creams (check the SMF post on "product ingredient database" by Lyrt). Additional data on this substance is available at the website below.

  14. TEA is a compound I used a lot for organic chemistry, I think as a solution for reactions. I don't really know all that much about it being carcinogenic.
    One other interesting note is that the study says it didn't cause mutations in the bacteria's DNA that they used. It might denature Rb suppressing protein or maybe even affect proteins produced by p51 which could lead to accumulation of DNA mistakes. Or who knows? It might prevent a cell from undergoing apoptosis. But it doesn't seem to be a mutagen, which to me means that it's not a direct cause of cancer. To me, you should be more concerned about eating overcooked meat, certain types of viruses, and the effects of pollution. Those certainly have been better researched.
    The only way to really determine if it's a cancer causing agent in people is to do a cohort study in a population and pray that the exposed group doesn't randomly switch between using different shaving products or cosmetics. My guess is that you'd find most of the people who die in the study would die from heart disease and leading causes of cancer.
    Or you could even do a cohort study between different types of chemists and determine which use TEA in the lab, and try to measure some type of exposure level to it.
    Bottom line is, I doubt that soaps, creams, or cosmetics have enough of this to cause any harm.
  15. PS the tumors they found in liver cells could also be caused by the liver cells dividing in response to TEA dosage. Increased liver cells would help to break down the chemical. It stands to reason that a cell has a greater chance of becoming cancerous by the frequency which it divides. This is the one of the same reasons why skin and colon cancer are common.
  16. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    Thank God for a voice of reason. Bravo, Kyle.
  17. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    John, I am very thankful that your wife is healthy. God Bless, but there are so many people that die from not seeking adequate treatment. Once again, I'm thankful that your family is intact, but she's the exception, not the rule.
  18. Thank you Tim, I too am grateful for my wife's health. As to our disagreement we will just have to live with it. I apreciate Kyles request for solid scientific evidence but have no faith that any will be forthcoming. I am no chemist or scientist but have seen enough to doubt the impartiality of most science in these days of heavy industry involvement in research. There is sufficient concern for me to simply avoid these chemicals on the chance that they may be harmful especially if exposure takes place over a long time span. I do have personal experience of harm with commercial toothpaste for one. I used to suffer from mouth ulcers, I believe you call them 'cankers' since eschewing commercial toothpaste I haven't had a single ulcer. I blame Sodium Lauryl Sulphate which is known to hinder the process of healing. Is that the cause? Can I prove it? No I can't and I can't see the industry funding impartial research to find out. I choose to avoid it. All I am saying is: be careful, you only get one life and it won't kill you to avoid dubious chemicals but it just might if you don't.
  19. I think we need to keep in mind that while these chemicals can be shown to cause cancer in a lab, the dosage required to do so would be difficult to achieve through use of a cosmetic product. But what toxicology does not study is the effects of multiple chemical stressors in the human body. Where "cocktails" of chemicals have been studied, the effect is often greater than the sum of it's parts. So while using a cream containing triethanolamine may not be able to "give you" cancer, when you also use a dozen other toxic products, and eat crops sprayed with innumerable chemicals, and drink a few dozen more in your water, and inhale car exhaust on the way to work, the sum effect may in the end result in cancer, especially if your mental state inclines you to this kind of pathology (see the science of psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology) which is why the more new chemicals mankind produces, the more cancers occur (currently rising at a rate of 1% per year since at least 1960).
    So take care, make your own decisions, and if you feel strongly about it, vote with your money for the world you want.
  20. Thanks very much indeed for your posts. You've given us all something to think about.

    I too am delighted to hear of your wife's recovery: too often I hear stories that are quite the opposite.

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