Can Your Shampoo Make You Fat?

he World Health Organization estimated that, in 1995, there were 200 million obese adults worldwide. By 2000, that number had grown to 300 million. It is very strange, indeed, that this epidemic coexists with undernutrition, affecting nearly every nation, rich or poor, and that it is affecting women more than men. What is causing this rapidly increasing global obesity epidemic?

Over the past decade, the United States has been urgently investigating the effects of low levels of synthetic personal care product chemicals found in our water — lakes, rivers, oceans. Scientists around the world have now linked these chemicals from personal care products to a growing global health crisis, causing life-threatening and costly metabolic and neurological disorders. These endocrine disorders threaten to bankrupt the US medical system within the next 30 years.

What types of products contain these harmful chemicals? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reported that they have found synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals in shampoo, preservatives, hair coloring agents, sunscreens, fragrances and pharmaceuticals. These chemicals are washed into our water every day and, as a result, they never go away — they are persistent because of daily replenishment via bathing, swimming and urination. Sadly, of the 80,000 plus chemicals used in products, just a tiny fraction were ever fully tested for toxicity, let alone for their hormone interference potential. Currently, toxicity tests required by the government do not evaluate endocrine disrupting effects, so even so-called “tested chemicals” can have unidentified hazardous health effects. You should be aware that the phrases “no known toxicity” or “no known health effects” do not necessarily mean that a substance is harmless.