For years, I have been passionate about Wellness, some would say borderline obsessed at times; spending hours at the gym, eating a steady diet of egg whites, oatmeal and grilled chicken salads. Ok, maybe I ate more than that, but those certainly were my staple foods for years. I thought I had health and wellness all figured out. Until I didn’t.
Fast forward to March 2016 at age 38, 6 months after my husband and I, along with our 2 year old son, moved to a new city, a routine gynecological visit with my new Dr. turned into a day that changed my life forever. I didn’t have a lump…just some dry skin. Who knew that dry skin could be a sign of breast cancer? 2 weeks later, after a visit to the Cancer Center and a biopsy, I got the dreaded call-“it’s positive, you have breast cancer”. I had a rare form of breast cancer, only 2% of all cases, called Paget’s disease. It’s one of the most misdiagnosed forms of cancer because the early symptoms mimic eczema. That could have been the case with mine too….except that I insisted the Dr. to do a biopsy instead of leaving the office with a prescription cream as had been suggested.
- In the U.S., 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with Cancer in their Lifetimes.
During the following months of treatment and surgeries, I dedicated many hours researching potential links to cancer and came across many inconvenient truths. What I thought was a healthy lifestyle, wasn’t really touching the surface. There was so much I didn’t know, like the extent of toxins in our food and our household cleaners, and I most certainly didn’t know that beauty care products are also riddled with toxins and harmful ingredients.
We think the FDA has our backs…but the truth is, the industry lacks regulation.
- Congress has not passed a major federal law regulating cosmetics since 1938.
Since WWII, over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce, of which, 80-90% have not been tested for human safety, especially those in the beauty industry. The European Union banned or partially banned over 1,400 harmful ingredients years ago, Canada has banned 600….The U.S. to date? 30. Yes, 30.
Unfortunately, the inconvenient truth is that the FDA is allowing companies to put harmful ingredients, toxins, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors linked to infertility, toxic liver syndrome, cancer, allergies and so much more, in our beauty products that we (and our children) use every….single…day. Formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, PEG compounds, “fragrance”-the list goes on and on. The level of heavy metals in make-up can be well above the International allowable guidelines-with the most dangerous being Mercury, Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium. Arsenic poisoning from lip gloss….yep, it’s a real thing.
What I learned has compelled me to take action in switching to safer products and in educating others on what we are putting on our bodies.
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