Parents have been warned to keep their children away from some cosmetics and toiletries because of fears they may lead to infertiitly and cancer.
The World Health Organisation is calling for a clampdown on the chemicals used in some teenage beauty and childcare products.
Children are turning to toiletires and many use products and deodorants which campaigners say can contain “gender-bending” chemicals such as parabens and phthalates.
The fact their young bodies are still developing could put them at greater risk of harm. Their longer lifetime exposure to such chemicals is also a concern.
Parabens – which are used in body lotions – can affect the female sex hormone oestrogen and have been detected in breast cancer samples.
Phthaltates – found in shampoos, conditioners, skin lotions and make-up as well as the environments in general – are linked to a dramtically increased rate of male sex organ abnormatlities.
Many doctors believe chemicals which disrupt hormones are to blame for a drastic fall in sperm count during the past 20 years.
It is also feared girls may be storing up problems for future pregnancies.
The WHO will issue a stark warning at an EU conference in Budapest next month.
A draft declaration for the summit states: “More attention needs to be focused on the chemicals composition of articles children come into contact with in everyday life.”
“Legislation should be the baseline for the regulation of such products and we recognise that improvments need to be made by seeing further requirements.”
MONDAY MAY 31, 2004 – MX NEWS. Page 9.