Chemicals such as parabens and benzophenones are found to have potentially detrimental effects on women’s reproductive hormone levels
Scientists have discovered that certain chemicals widely used in cosmetics and personal care products could contribute to changes in reproductive hormones.
The study published by George Mason University Assistant Professor of Global Community and Health Virginia, Anna Pollack, tested chemicals including parabens and benzophenones to identify whether they contributed to hormonal changes.
Parabens are often used as preservatives in cosmetic products, while benzophenones are used to protect products from UV light and can be found in sunscreens, fragrances, shampoos and conditioners.
Pollack said: “This study is the first to examine mixtures of chemicals that are widely used in personal care products in relation to hormones in healthy, reproductive-age women, using multiple measure of exposure across the menstrual cycle, which improved upon research that relied on one or two measures of chemicals.”
A total of 509 urine samples were collected from 143 women between the ages of 18 and 44 to be measured for environmental factors.
The study found that certain chemicals and UV filters were associated with decreased hormone levels, while others were found to increase them.
Pollack added: “What we should take away from this study is that we may need to be careful about the chemicals in the beauty and personal care products we use.
“We have early indicators that chemicals such as parabens may increase oestrogen levels.
“If this finding is confirmed by additional research, it could have implications for oestrogen dependent diseases such as breast cancer.”