When buying products, reading labels may be one of the best ways to figure out if something contains chemicals that you'd rather avoid. But a study released earlier this year found chemicals in many everyday products that may increase your risk of developing cancer or disrupt reproduction, and many of those chemicals weren't listed on product labels. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to revisit the findings of the study to help make us more aware of hidden risks.
Partly funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, tested 213 commercial products in 50 different categories. The study included many popular consumer products, including "alternative" products marketed as being safer and more eco-friendly.
The results were worrying; the study found that the products contained high levels of chemicals that have been linked to higher breast cancer risk, reproduction and growth problems, and asthma — even in those alternative products thought to be safer — including BPA, parabens, glycol ether, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. And since many of these chemicals weren't listed on product labels, it can be hard for people to tell how much of a possibly unsafe chemical is in their favorite brands.
Want to know which types of products to try to avoid? Read on for the list.