Women of color exposed to more toxic chemicals

  • Women of color use more beauty products and are disproportionately exposed to worrisome chemicals compared to white women, according to a new study.
  • The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, calls on health care providers to become more aware of how exposure to environmental chemicals may impact the reproductive health of vulnerable populations.
  • “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,” Zota wrote in a news release.
  • Women of color spend more on cosmetics that include skin-lightening creams, hair straightening and relaxing treatments, and feminine cleansing and hygiene products.
  • In 2015, the same researchers published a study in the journal Environmental Health that found differences among races and ethnicities in both feminine hygiene practices and exposure to phthalates.

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