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Hair Dressers at Risk of Cancer: Safer Alternatives

 

 

 

 

 
MCS America

Lourdes Salvador's Column

...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.

 

For more information visit MCS America

 

 

 

Monday, March 1st, 2010:

 

Hair Dressers at Risk of Cancer – Safer Alternatives

 

by Lourdes Salvador



Hairdressers have a higher risk of cancer than the general population according to researchers.

 

Hairdressers are constantly exposed to many chemicals in their work environment.  This is believed to lead to the higher cancer rates and overall poorer health of  people in this occupation.

 

Hair sprays, dyes, shampoo, conditioner, gels and other chemicals routinely used by hair dressers often contain known carcinogens.  Hair spray, for example, often contains butane, isobutane, propane, and isopropane. 

 

Takkouche and colleagues say, “Improvement of the ventilation system in the hairdresser salons and implementation of hygiene measures aimed at mitigating exposure to potential carcinogens at work may reduce the risk.”

 

Other studies have linked depression, asthma, allergies, and various other disorders to exposure to these same chemicals. 

 

Though patrons are exposed to these chemicals for a lesser period of time, many environmental advocates have expressed concerns over the toxicity of these chemicals for day to day use at home.  There are many safer alternatives.

 

Mouth Wash

 

Peroxide

Rinse mouth as usual.  Do not swallow.

 

Chlorophyll

Chew tablet to freshen breath.

 

Tooth Paste

 

Baking Soda

Apply to toothbrush and brush as usual.

 

Peroxide

Apply to toothbrush and brush as usual.

Toothbrushes may also be left to soak in peroxide to clean them and kill germs.

 

Baking Soda & Salt

Mix 3 parts baking soda and 1 part salt.

Apply to toothbrush and brush as usual.

 

Shampoo

 

Liquid Borax

Add 1/4 cup of borax per pint of water.

Shake well and allow to settle.

Pour the water into a pump bottle leaving the borax powder residue behind.

Wash hair as usual.  Will not lather.

 

Castile Soap or Clearly Natural Glycerin Soap

Use as regular liquid or bar soap.

 

Baking Soda

Rub in as a paste and rinse.

Note:  Does not lather

 

Conditioner

 

Citric Acid Powder

Mix ¼ to ½ tsp. per pint of water. 

Pour the rinse over your hair

 

Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice

Mix ¼ to ½ tsp. per pint of water. 

Pour the rinse over your hair

 

Homemade Conditioner

Mash a ripe banana and avocado.

Strain through cheesecloth.

Apply as usual.

 

Coconut Oil

Rub into hair and leave overnight.

Wash out in the morning.

 

Egg Yolk or Mayonnaise

Rub into hair.

Rinse out well.

 

Olive or Jojoba Oil

Mix a tiny drop in a cup of water.

Rub in and rinse out well.

 

Astringents, Toner, After Shave

 

Witch Hazel

Splash on as usual

 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Splash on as usual – may lighten skin.

 

Shaving Cream

 

Castile Soap - Unscented

Use as regular liquid soap.

Lather and shave.

 

Homemade Liquid Castile Soap

Boil 3 cups of water.

Add shavings of one bar of unscented castile soap.

Cool and fill pump bottle.

Lather and Shave

 

Hair Bleach

 

Peroxide

Apply peroxide to dry hair.

Let sit 15 minutes and then rinse out.

 

Deodorant

 

Baking Soda or Corn Starch

Dust body and/or underarms.

 

White Clay

Rub in as a paste and rinse.

 

Deodorant Crystal

Wet and rub under arm.

 

Water

Wash underarms several times a day with plain water to remove bacteria and control odor.

 

Soap

 

Castile Soap - Unscented

Use as regular liquid soap.

 

Homemade Liquid Castile Soap

Boil 3 cups of water.

Add shavings of one bar of unscented castile soap.

Cool and fill pump bottle.

 

Liquid Borax

Add ¼ cup of borax per pint of water.

Shake well and allow to settle.

Pour the water into a pump bottle leaving the borax powder residue behind.

 

Baking Soda

Rub on as a paste and rinse.

Note:  Does not lather

 

Lotion

 

Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Grapeseed Oil

Rub a small drop on skin.

 

Coconut Oil

Rub a small drop on skin.

 

Hair Gel & Hair Spray

 

Aloe Vera Gel - Unscented

Rub into hair and style as usual.

 

Fresh Lemon Juice

Squeeze juice of a lemon into spray bottle.

Apply as usual and keep refrigerated.

 

For more information on safer alternatives, a free brochure may be downloaded form:  http://www.mcs-america.org/personal.pdf

 

Reference:

Takkouche B, Regueira-Méndez C, Montes-Martínez A. Risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers: a meta-analysis.  Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec;38(6):1512-31. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

 

 

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For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.

 

Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America

 

 

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