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Formaldehyde releasers can have dangerous health effects to the human body even at low levels of exposure. They can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, create mucosal decongestion, create serious respiratory problems, and expose you to risk for cancer. Formaldehyde enhances and can cause skin irritation commonly known as eczema. Eczema is characterized by skin drying, cracking; reddening and even blistering is some cases. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel evaluated formaldehyde presence in cosmetics and declared that formaldehyde presence of 0.2% in cosmetics is safe for consumers. The panel further says “but to keep exposure to a minimum.” It is pertinent to mention that the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel on their home page state that they are funded by the Personal Care Products Council, formally known as the cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance association as well as supported by the US food and Drug association and consumer federation of America. If you go to the Personal Care Products Councils web site you will find they are funded by over 600 industry companies ranging from suppliers of ingredients, raw materials, packaging, etc. Hmmmm?
Here is a quick little summation of a few common formaldehyde releasers and a quick explanation.
Diazolidinyl Urea is a mild sensitizer, fine, white powder used in personal care and cosmetics products believed to be safe when used within the 0.5% concentration level. The other name of this chemical compound is carbamide, which is synthesized artificially from inorganic compounds. The synthetic chemical came from the mixture of carbon dioxide and synthetic ammonia. The synthetic urea is found in hair coloring products, diuretics, and dermatological products offering skin rehydration functions. Diazolidinyl Urea releases formaldehyde.
DMDM-hydantoin is an antimicrobial, organic compound appearing as a solid white crystalline that releases formaldehyde to work as preservative in hair care and skin care products specifically anti-aging, hair coloring, hair conditioner, foundations, makeup base, and facial moisturizer. DMDM-hydantoin prevents the cosmetic products from bacterial spoilage, accumulating molds, and mildews. The other name or trade name of this chemical in the market is Glydant. The acceptable concentration of DMDM in a product is below 0.5%. Those products containing more than 0.5% are required to label the product as formaldehyde releaser. This ingredient is said to be carcinogenic in large doses.
Imidazolidinyl Urea is a formaldehyde releaser usually combined with parabens to act as preservative in pharmaceutical preparations and cosmetic products. This free flowing, white powder known as skin sensitizer, antimicrobial agent is used in skin care and cosmetic products such as facial treatment, skin lightener, brow liner, lipstick, deodorant, and many other beauty products. This compound causes contact dermatitis. The trade name of this compound is Germall while the chemical name is methylenebis.
Metheneamine is a chemical and antibacterial agent that belongs to the hormone-disrupting family of chemicals found in body wash, shampoos, facial cleansers, liquid soaps, and shower gels. The other names of Metheneamine are Urotropin, Cystogen, Ammoform, and Ammonioformaldehyde. Metheneamine is proven formaldehyde releaser.
Formaldehyde releasers decompose rapidly to release formaldehyde when dissolved in aqueous solvents. Formaldehyde releasers are used as preservatives in many body and cleaning products. The CIR states that a formaldehyde presence of 0.2% is considered safe. I guess my concern is this: most people use multiple body products and cleaning products daily. For myself I use shampoo, conditioner, soaps, creams, cosmetics, and cleaning products daily. Using a single product once would probably not be a health issue for most people. The controversy and potential problems arise because these products are used over and over and over again, 365 days a year for most of our lives. It is fairly easy to see from this perspective that the small but constant assault of any toxic chemical, over time, can be problematic for one’s health. Stop! Think! Consider!
People and the Earth deserve the very best! Cheers!
Epstein, S. Toxic Beauty. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc.
The scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products, SCCNFP/586/2002. The Determination of Certain Formaldehyde Releasers In Cosmetic Products.
Bongbong S. Formaldehyde Releasers Research.
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