A new study conducted by researchers at the George Washington University has discovered that women of color are exposed to a higher level of beauty-related chemicals than white women.
The study analyzed years of findings on cosmetics and discovered that beauty products targeted specifically to ethnic minorities contain a higher level of toxins, such as formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, lead, mercury, triclosan, and benzophenone, than those sold to white women.
These products include lighteners, hair straightening, and odor masking items, with the level of toxic ingredients said to have put women of color at risk of hormone-disruption, cancer, and reproductive problems.
Researchers aimed to showcase how chemical exposure can lead to an increasing amount of women becoming infertile, while also highlighting that women of color use more beauty products than Western women.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Lead Author Dr Ami Zota, a professor in environmental and occupational health, said, “The cosmetics industry is largely self-regulated so most of the information that’s being provided about ingredients is voluntary.
“Beauty product use is a critical but underappreciated source of reproductive harm and environmental injustice. Pressure to meet Western standards of beauty means Black, Latina and Asian American women are using more beauty products and thus are exposed to higher levels of chemicals known to be harmful to health.”