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Alternatives Journal, Environment

The Chemical Cocktails in Men’s Body Care Products

Image from Environmental Defence

The latest report from Environmental Defence outlining the myriad of toxic chemicals in men’s personal care products shouldn’t surprise anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the chemical cocktails swimming around in women’s care products for the past five decades – likely more.

But in The Manscape: The Dirt on Toxic Ingredients in Men’s Body Care Products, Environmental Defence tested 17 common men’s grooming products suggested to them by five men from across Canada, including aftershave, shampoo, body wash, shaving cream and deodorant.

All was done in the name of consumer safety to provide proof of what most have long suspected: that men, like women, are being poisoned on a daily basis by the products they purchase and use to keep clean.

And the results? Not good. Of the 17 products tested, Manscape reports that “four products contained probable human carcinogens, five products contained chemicals known to harm male reproductive health and ten products had artificial musks, some of which are shown to disrupt hormones in animals.”

To make sure there was no mistaking the potentially harmful impacts of putting your skin into daily contact with these products, the report’s authors state, “the chemicals we found are linked to cancer, birth defects, sperm damage, obesity, asthma and other chronic health problems.”

They go on: “Phthalates, a group of chemicals found in most fragranced products as well as poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl flooring and car parts, are particularly harmful to male reproductive health. They have also been linked to risk factors for testicular cancer—the most common cancer among young men between 15-29 years old.”

Now – everyone should keep their composure! The good people at Environmental Defence have nothing invested in scaring young men into rubbing baking soda and water onto their face in lieu of shaving cream (although they do suggest a concoction of apple cider vinegar and water in place of some dandruff shampoos).

Rather, the report reinforces what consumers should know, and what men’s body care manufacturers likely hope young men with money in their pocket and a desire to look good (or just be clean) quickly forget – that in the market, the consumer calls the shots with spending habits and the choices we make.

The full article is available at Alternatives Journal.

About awreeves

Editor-in-chief at Alternatives Journal. Author of 'Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian carp Crisis'.


One thought on “The Chemical Cocktails in Men’s Body Care Products

  1. Wait a minute, men’s “body care products”? Was ist das? It seems like just yesterday we got soap out here. Let me say that slowly – body – care – products, plural as in more than one, right? Several? Lots? Oodles?

    Posted by MoS | November 21, 2012, 7:39 pm

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