The Importance of Black Women Understanding the Chemicals in Their Personal Care Products

June 11, 2024

Certain chemicals, such as phthalates and parabens, can disrupt the body's hormones and have significant effects on health. According to data, hormone-related health issues such as uterine fibroids, infertility, early puberty and more aggressive forms of breast and endometrial cancers disproportionately affect Black women. Our guest speaker, Jasmine A. McDonald, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City, discusses the scientific reasons why Black women should pay attention to specific chemicals in their personal care products, like hair care, and ways to minimize their exposure.

Key Takeaways from Webinar Viewers:

  • "Dr. McDonald was so thorough. She explained scientific information in a way that was easily understood. This knowledge was explicitly directed to Black women."
  • "Increased understanding of how women developed breast cancer and other health issues due to exposure to DDT; the importance of reading labels; and the websites with clearer/safer products."
  • "I found the presentation to be an eye-opener. The presenter was quite knowledgeable and very honest about the ingredients in the products we are using and possible impact on our health."
00:00:00:00 - 00:00:17:15
Unknown
welcome, everyone. Welcome to today's webinar. The importance of black women understanding the chemicals in their personal care products. I'm Megan-Claire Chase and I am SHARE’s Breast Cancer program director and host of our Busy Lives podcast.

00:00:17:21 - 00:00:46:16
Unknown
Plus, I'm an eight year invasive lobular survivor. So as you're coming in, know that the chat is open. Please put in a chat where you're joining us from today. Love to see where everyone is coming in from. And don't forget, make sure to choose every one and that little dropdown box in the chat as well so everyone can see your comments.

00:00:46:18 - 00:01:28:07
Unknown
Now, before the presentation begins, I want to tell you a little bit about Share. We're a national nonprofit that supports, educates and empowers anyone diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancers and provides outreach to the general public about signs and symptoms because no one should face breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical or metastatic breast cancer alone. For more information about upcoming webinars, support groups, podcasts and our helplines, please visit our website at Share Cancer Support dot org.

00:01:28:08 - 00:01:56:04
Unknown
Now we have a few housekeeping reminders for you. All participants will be muted during the presentation. And again, the chat is enabled, so feel free to write comments and engage with each other. And again, just that reminder to make sure to select everyone in that little dropdown box when using the chat. And once Dr. McDonald finishes presenting, we'll begin our Q&A discussion.

00:01:56:06 - 00:02:25:01
Unknown
Please submit any questions throughout in the Q&A section that at the bottom of your screen. And remember, our speaker today is unable to get specific medical advice. So please keep your questions general in nature. And we also have closed captioning available and you can enable this feature by clicking the live transfer button on the bottom of your screen and then selecting the subtitle option.

00:02:25:03 - 00:02:48:21
Unknown
This webinar is being recorded and we'll share with you in a few weeks with all of the registrants and we'll add it to our website. So now I would like to hand it over to Dr. McDonald to introduce herself. Dr. McDonald. This screen is yours.

00:02:48:23 - 00:03:23:23
Unknown
Thank you so very much. And I'm going to share my screen as well. I just want to briefly introduce myself. I'm Jasmine McDonald, associate professor at Columbia University. My focus is really on breast cancer etiology, which means how do we get breast cancer? Why do we get breast cancer? But I focus on it not just in the period of later life, but all the experiences we have throughout our lived life and how they contribute to increased breast cancer risk.

00:03:24:00 - 00:04:06:08
Unknown
Today, I'm going to talk about one of the exposures that I've been looking at, which is pretty much universal. But I'm going to show you how there is an equity difference between these exposures across different race ethnicities and sex. So if I can share my screen. All right. Is want to make sure I put the screen where it needs to be.

00:04:06:10 - 00:04:36:16
Unknown
All right. So today we're going to be talking about chemicals that are in our personal care products throughout. We're going to discuss, you know, breast cancer trends, as I mentioned, the lived experience as it relates to breast cancer risk. We're going to discuss exposures and some of the actions that you can take, but also what our nation is taking.

00:04:36:18 - 00:05:16:07
Unknown
So to begin. Breast cancer is a human problem. This is something that we all know. It's something that's not only national in nature, it's global in nature. And it's been around since about 3000 B.C.. Now, for the United States or nationally, we see that it's about 287,000 new cases per year with about 51,000 deaths. What that translates to is that one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

00:05:16:09 - 00:05:45:02
Unknown
But what's important is there's this trend that's changing. And what I want to emphasize is this little box right here. We consider breast cancer as a disease of old age. We consider that those who are in their sixties, their seventies, they'll they're the ones that get breast cancer. They're the ones that get cancer because you have to live long enough to develop cancer.

00:05:45:04 - 00:06:29:20
Unknown
But what we're experiencing right now is that from the ages of 25 to under 45, there is this rapid increase in diagnosis. Now, if you look at this pink box, we see that this is looking at per year how much of an increase we're seeing in breast cancer diagnoses per year. And what this is showing is that black women are having the higher rate of diagnoses compared to non-Hispanic white, Asian Pacific Islander or Hispanic.

00:06:29:22 - 00:07:19:03
Unknown
So black women are developing cancers at such a higher rate compared to all other race ethnicities under the age of 40. Now, what is very interesting is that in the past, breast cancer was diagnosed most predominantly in white women, whereas mortality was always worse for black women. But what has happened over time is that while white women, non-Hispanic white women have improved and their incidence of being diagnosed has come down, black women have not improved.

00:07:19:03 - 00:07:56:24
Unknown
And now the incidence rate of being diagnosed with breast cancer while it was lower before now is at the same rate as black women. And then this is just showing you some common facts where we know that black women experience an earlier age of onset of breast cancer, as I was mentioning in the grass before, when they are diagnosed, they're diagnosed with more advanced stage of disease and aggressive tumor features, and they have the worse survival outcomes.

00:07:57:01 - 00:08:26:04
Unknown
And when we think about survivor shit, there's higher burdens of co-morbidities as well as poor quality of life. This is looking at trends and female breast cancer mortality. And as you see here, not only are non-Hispanic black women having higher rates than are common, compare to which is non-Hispanic white, but we don't need to compare it to non-Hispanic white.

00:08:26:06 - 00:08:53:00
Unknown
We can compare it to those who are experiencing the lowest rates. And when we look at the lowest rates, which is Asian Pacific Islander, the fold difference is so much higher. So in summary, we know that black women in America, we talk about breast cancer statistics. They have a 31% breast cancer mortality rate among women younger than 45.

00:08:53:02 - 00:09:28:16
Unknown
Breast cancer incidence is higher among black women. They have an elevated risk of the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, which is triple negative breast cancer, and their risk of another aggressive subtype, estrogen receptor negative breast cancer is 41% higher for black women born in Jim Crow states compared to white women born in those same states. We know that institutionalized racism contributes to racial and social inequities.

00:09:28:18 - 00:10:11:21
Unknown
That creates these obstacles not only to the prevention of breast cancer, but also contributes to our increased breast cancer risk. So what I want to kind of impose on you is this principle that no one just boom, miraculously develops cancer. It is a process. It's something that goes through stages. And what I focus on is life course epidemiology, the stages in life, and how different exposures in those stages in life contribute to breast cancer risk.

00:10:11:23 - 00:10:49:13
Unknown
So Life Course epidemiology is the study of long term effects on later health or disease risk like breast cancer, cardiovascular disease. But the risk of these due to physical or social exposures that occur earlier in life, like gestation, like in utero, while you're in your mother's womb, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood. And when we think about breast cancer, I really look at the theory as it relates to critical windows.

00:10:49:15 - 00:11:30:14
Unknown
And these are periods of time where the breast tissue is highly proliferating, highly dividing cells are highly dynamic, and these are times where external exposures may be more susceptible to creating damage to a cell that doesn't get properly repaired and increase damage of cells is what we're considering when we think about increased susceptibility to cancer, because some damages and a cell can be more precarious than others.

00:11:30:16 - 00:12:19:08
Unknown
So I look at critical windows where the breast tissue is dividing, including in the womb during pubertal development, which is breast development. When a girl starts her period during pregnancy all the way to after delivery. And there's the postpartum period where the breast is trying to get back to its pre-pregnancy state. And even in the transition between being premenopausal to transitioning to post-menopausal all of these and environ man's external exposures to environmental carcinogens can increase carcinogenic susceptibility or your risk of developing cancer.

00:12:19:10 - 00:13:06:20
Unknown
But also, if you have a deleterious cell, a cancer cell that is already primed to grow, it now creates an environment that's more permissive for that cell to grow. So I like to give an example of this because I could say this all day, but you definitely need proof. How is it that something that I did when I was six impacts my breast cancer at 40 and so I like to tell the story about DDT, which was a pesticide that was banned in the United States in the 1970s, but not before.

00:13:06:20 - 00:13:42:06
Unknown
It was routinely used for everything. It was a pesticide that was used for agriculture or it was used in public spaces to present to prevent pest. You will see pictures of children playing games as the trucks that are smoking and releasing this pesticide and the person who gets the closest to the smoke wins. You'll see, like back in the day, Instagram worthy pictures.

00:13:42:08 - 00:14:14:18
Unknown
The fact of the matter is that this particular pesticide was not only in our food, it was something that we breathe. It was something that we swallowed. It was everywhere. And so what researchers did was ask the question of when an individual was exposed to this toxin prior to it being banned, what is their risk of developing breast cancer?

00:14:14:20 - 00:15:07:10
Unknown
So follow me as I lead you through this particular table. So these are looking at women who are born in this time period. Right. So the 1945 to 1970 right here, this is the period of time where we had active DDT use, active pesticide exposure. This is the time where all of this was happening. Now, there were charge men who were exposed during this period who were born between 1922, 1931, that were exposed in late adolescence to early adult.

00:15:07:12 - 00:16:00:01
Unknown
There are those who were exposed between 1931 and 1943 who were exposed at age three to early adolescence. Then there were those who were exposed between 1943 and 1950, and they were exposed while in their mother's womb or before age three. So let's look at those that were extreme exposed age. So those that were exposed in adolescence to late adulthood and these women that were exposed when they were this age, they had an odds of developing breast cancer between the ages of 50 to 54.

00:16:00:03 - 00:16:45:16
Unknown
That was twofold. Greater than those who were not exposed during that time. But if we get even more extreme and we look at those that were exposed between ages of in utero 0 to 13, these women had a five fold increased risk of developing breast cancer before age 50 compared to those that were not exposed. So something that happens early in life can play a significant role in your breast cancer risk later in life.

00:16:45:18 - 00:17:23:08
Unknown
So what I do is I looked at the lived life experience and those exotic exposures that occur with then we know that when we think about our lived life as a black women, we have more racial discrimination, institutionalized racism, structural racism. I told you the fact about those having more aggressive breast cancer. For black women living in Jim Crow states versus white women who don't, who also live in those states.

00:17:23:10 - 00:17:53:06
Unknown
But what's also important to know is that when we think about these exposures and their importance during life stages, we also have to think of it once you've gotten breast cancer, once you've been diagnosed, how do these exposures impact survival? A lot of people will say, it was just a low dose and we'll hear companies say, we use low amounts of this chemical in this particular product.

00:17:53:08 - 00:18:34:02
Unknown
But the fact of the matter is, low doses have been shown to have harmful effects, but low doses from one product or one exposure doesn't mean that you're not also getting that low dose from another exposure, which leads to that cumulative exposure. So while you may say like, I only use this particular item that has like low levels of this chemical, but then if you're using other items that also have low levels of that chemical oil, then you're not really getting a low dose.

00:18:34:04 - 00:19:05:18
Unknown
And also, we know that there's mixtures. We're not just exposed to one chemical or one exposure at a time. We are constantly wading through a chemical soup of exposures. The same chemical may be present in dozens of products we use every day in combination, and they can interact with each other and exacerbate. So what I want to talk about is an exposure that, yes, everyone experiences.

00:19:05:20 - 00:19:40:17
Unknown
However, there is injustice in the products that we are exposed to, and I'm going to focus on personal level exposures. But please note that household exposures are also important to consider as things we spray in the air or different things we use in our household also plays a role. But I'm going to focus on the problematic link between beauty products.

00:19:40:19 - 00:20:37:03
Unknown
So this busy slide is really just showcasing this key point. There are toxic chemicals. They are considered toxic. They range from dioxins to flame retardants to parabens to phthalates. These chemicals are present in these beauty products, everything from hair relaxers to skin whiteners to perms and relaxers to body lotions to makeup. These chemicals and or some of these beauty products have been linked to hormonal diseases.

00:20:37:05 - 00:21:29:04
Unknown
Cancer or mammary development, like pubertal development of your breasts, preterm birth, early menopause, obesity, PCOS, allergic reactions. These chemicals that are present in these products have been associated with these diseases. And to focus on many of these diseases that are listed here are these conditions. Many of them are hormone oil. And so what that means at the is that these chemicals, if we just focus on just hair products, which is a vast class, like when you think of hair products, it's not just shampoo and leaving conditioner, it's pomade, edge, control, root, stimulators, etc., etc..

00:21:29:06 - 00:22:04:17
Unknown
And these chemicals are considered endocrine disruptor chemicals. So what does that what are. EDCs Well, they are chemicals that disrupt the natural regulation of our hormonal system. So they're exactly what they say. Hormone disruptors. They interfere with our hormone production, which can lead to hormone related issues. But some of these chemicals are also carcinogenic, which can relate will cause alterations or changes in our DNA.

00:22:04:19 - 00:22:37:03
Unknown
And some of those changes can lead to abnormal amount control increase in the number of cells. And what cancer is, is uncontrolled cell growth. Now, when we think about hair products, some of the common ingredients that we have in them are estrogen, which is put in the product to promote hair growth. But we know that there are biological implications of using estrogen on our mammary cells.

00:22:37:03 - 00:23:06:17
Unknown
So the cells of our breast, we know phthalates are added into hair products to carry the fragrance. But once again, we know that phthalates have been associated with changes in our breast cell, promoting cell growth, actually increasing the migratory or invasive property of breast cancer cells. So their movement, we know that parabens are put in products to preserve the shelf life of the product.

00:23:06:19 - 00:23:37:23
Unknown
And once again, they have also been associated with breast epithelial cells, your breast cells, and increasing its movement and invasive properties. Now, when I say that, you know there is an equity issue, yes, everyone uses hair products, but not everyone uses the same type of hair products. You can say that while everyone uses deodorant, everyone uses lotion, everyone uses mouthwash.

00:23:38:00 - 00:24:09:06
Unknown
But the fact of the matter is not everyone uses the same hair products because hair is personalize as to how your hair grows. So when we there was a study done by a group and it was called the taking stock study. And what they asked was what are some of the factors like as well as racial discrimination and how does that influence product use?

00:24:09:08 - 00:24:36:02
Unknown
Because we know that product use can lead to different rates of exposure. So if you're using a product because of racial discrimination, structural discrimination, you have to look a certain way when you go to the job or you're expected to look a certain way to the opposite sex, then you are using products that may lead to you having access to excess exposure compared to others.

00:24:36:04 - 00:25:16:14
Unknown
So this study goal was to look at consumer products among diverse ethnic ages and racial backgrounds, and they surveyed 357 women. And this is the makeup of that 357. And what they found, which was what I found really important, is that black women report higher number of hair product usage and more menstrual intimate product usage. And there's other trends here as we see the press ranks percentage things and that Hispanic Latin necks and Asian women report using cosmetics more.

00:25:16:16 - 00:25:47:21
Unknown
But what I want to particularly focus on is that black women report using higher levels of hair products and more menstrual products. Now, when we're talking about these products, this is the red list from breast cancer prevention partners, where they have a campaign for safe cosmetics. And when we're thinking about all the chemicals that may be in hair products, this is just a list of some of these chemicals.

00:25:47:23 - 00:26:22:02
Unknown
Right. And then this is the association of those chemicals with the disease or a condition. So, for example, if we look at methyl paraben, methyl paraben, which you will find on the back of some of your products is associated with going through an earlier age at puberty, like starting your period earlier endometriosis, pregnancy complications and preterm birth, whereas you have butyl paraben.

00:26:22:04 - 00:26:55:11
Unknown
And who's to say that there not both in the product, but let's say a butyl paraben Well, it's been associated with diabetes, maternal health, pregnancy complications, preterm birth and allergic reactions. And just for proof of principle, Silent Spring Institute looked at beauty products that were marketed to women of color, and they contain to see what chemicals they contain that are used by the beauty industry.

00:26:55:13 - 00:27:54:20
Unknown
And so if you see here, what's most important is they looked at products that are marketed and cater to black women, which includes hot oil treatments, Polish hair lotions, hair relaxers, others. And then they look at all these classes of chemicals. The darker the color, the more concentrated that chemical in that product. And what's important to note is that within the hair relaxers, even in the child brand, no lye relaxer, they still found chemicals that were banned by the European Union Cosmetic Directive, but was still included in products for children in the United States.

00:27:54:22 - 00:28:33:13
Unknown
So overall, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that hair products are associated with an increased risk of hormone related diseases, especially hormonally driven cancers. So, for example, we have ever and frequent use of hair straighteners and relaxers or pressing products may be associated with uterine cancer. Permanent relaxers and hair dye has been associated with increased breast cancer risk, with a greater risk for black women.

00:28:33:15 - 00:29:13:12
Unknown
We know that a combination of application of permanent hair dye relaxers, the longer duration of use of relaxers and when I say combination application, that means that you've gotten the product applied to you by a salon, but you've also applied the product at home. And we know that this combination of applications of whether it be permanent hair dye relaxers, a longer duration of use of relaxers or even earlier age of use of relaxers is associated with poor tumor characteristics.

00:29:13:14 - 00:29:47:18
Unknown
So this actually impacts the way your tumor presents. It presents with a larger tumor side or poor grade with association of the use of this product. These products. We know that frequent use has been associated with ovarian cancer, and we can't forget the men. We often do not talk about the men, but we also know that personal hair dye has also been related to increased prostate cancer risk, which is also a hormonal disease.

00:29:47:20 - 00:30:27:24
Unknown
So all of this, what are we doing? Like we have all this evidence, How do we move beyond this evidence to actually enact protection for those that are equitably exposed and they're equitably exposed because the products that are that I named are most often use for women that have a tighter hair coiled pattern and Eurocentric views say that beauty is defined by long, straight hair.

00:30:28:01 - 00:30:52:05
Unknown
And the problem with that is that hair and relaxers isn't something that you can just use once and call it a day. For example, you can use hair lotion and say, You know what, I'm done with using this hair lotion. I'm a get a safer product. The fact of the matter is that hair relaxers is something that once you use, you have to continue using as your hair grows every.

00:30:52:07 - 00:31:28:12
Unknown
Excuse me. So now let's talk about the action. Right? So we've seen Black is Beautiful movement that happened in the 1960s and seventies. And this was all about like celebrating black beauty, celebrating the Afros, celebrating our skin and this was a political movement. But now what we're embarking on is that there is an equity movement. It's not just that black is beautiful or Latin, X is beautiful, or women of color overall is just absolutely beautiful.

00:31:28:12 - 00:32:03:10
Unknown
It's about the fact that because there's this Eurocentric view of beauty and this conceptual framework linking systems of oppression like racism, sexism and classism to racialized beauty practices, there's this unequal chemical exposure and adverse health outcomes. And so we call this the environmental injustice of beauty. And so what has been done has been done across research, age, law, policy.

00:32:03:10 - 00:32:42:08
Unknown
And I just in closing, want to give you like, what is our nation doing? How are we moving forward for action and intervention? So they're hair. One of the studies that I conducted is called Let's Roar, which stands for Let's Reclaim our ancestral roots. And it was an intervention study to reduce harmful exposure to chemicals from hair products, particularly phthalates, during a woman's pregnancy, through their postpartum time period.

00:32:42:10 - 00:33:13:13
Unknown
And this study was done for women of color that were living in northern Manhattan and educating them on what the chemicals were that were in their products. How can, in fact their shot affect their child and how it could affect them long term? Now, there's also advocacy. I'm on the board of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and from their campaign for Safe Cosmetics, they created the Black Beauty Project.

00:33:13:15 - 00:33:47:23
Unknown
The goal of this project is to supply nontoxic beauty product alternatives to black women, and the goal is to reduce black women and girls exposure to unsafe ingredients. And what they did was they created a list of black owned brands that sell completely nontoxic beauty project products. And this comes equipped with tip cards for when you're buying your products.

00:33:48:00 - 00:34:23:03
Unknown
It's supposed to raise awareness and etc.. And some of the tip cards they've shown is that it's very inequitable. When we think about beauty by numbers, given that the amount that black women spend on beauty is 7.5 billion per year, that's pretty amazing. The beauty industry, the whole beauty industry is at 100 billion. But black women spend seven and a half billion.

00:34:23:05 - 00:35:01:22
Unknown
We know that we have buying power. And when we think about the buying power as it relates to hair purchases, black women have nine times more purchases of hair care products than any other demographic. So we know that there is an an equity, even just by looking at our purchasing behavior, there's personal agency. So as I mentioned, the Nontoxic Black Beauty Project identifies products from black owned companies that have been screened and are free of toxic chemicals.

00:35:01:24 - 00:35:38:03
Unknown
And you can go to their website and identify that you want a face cream and they'll give you a brand black owned companies as well as products that fit the non toxic criteria that they have screened for. There's also personal agency in the forms of apps. Now we've been talking about beauty products, but the fact of the matter is what you clean your house with, what you wash your clothes with, what you sent your home with, what you eat, etc..

00:35:38:05 - 00:36:14:03
Unknown
And so there is these different apps. For example, the UGA app is for you to scan to see how nontoxic a food brand is. There's detox me as well as clearing EWG and think dirty where you can scan a product to determine how unsafe it may be or what are the the the chemicals in it that make it unsafe so that when you're purchasing new products, you can scan it to see if it's safe enough.

00:36:14:03 - 00:36:53:23
Unknown
And then if not, you can scan another product and so on. There's also media. So Penelope JAG Asare has just created she's a TEDx speaker who has talked about the toxins that are in our personal care products, and particularly these products when you're carrying a child. And she made a film called Toxic Baby, as well as was a TEDx speaker and in her new podcast, she's exploring this on a platform that I can't remember right now, but is exploring environmental toxins through interviews and surreal imagery.

00:36:53:23 - 00:37:57:05
Unknown
And it's on Spotify. And so many experts, including myself, were on this interview where she talks about the connection of race and history as it relates to current day and equity and these exposures and higher rates of certain diseases and conditions, aids in women of color. And so this podcast is on Spotify. There's legal ramifications. Women are now creating lawsuits and actually suing the companies that produce these products that clearly have toxic chemicals or harmful chemicals in them, and suing them because they cause they're uterine cancer or they cause different other conditions.

00:37:57:07 - 00:38:38:09
Unknown
There's also policy. The Crown Act was meant to make sure that black women could wear their hair how they wanted to and still be perceived as professional. So typically, any protective hairstyle. I remember when I was younger and I was working in retail, one of my peers was fired because the corporate said that she could not wear cornrows and to the job, despite the fact she only worked in stock, she never saw customers, she only worked in stock.

00:38:38:11 - 00:39:04:19
Unknown
But they said that she would have to remove her cornrows if she was going to stay employed or she can just resign. And the thing was her cornrows. Just because she was getting a full scholarship as a track star. So that's what she wore in order to better herself and to get her degree. But she had to make a decision.

00:39:04:19 - 00:39:37:04
Unknown
And so she was no longer working there. But the Crown Act is supposed to help where you can wear these protective styles and workplace and school. And then there is the new federal or the modernization of the Cosmetic Regulatory Act, where this has been the first change in over 80 years. And these changes, while they've been great, it requires serious adverse events to report.

00:39:37:06 - 00:40:15:20
Unknown
It requires public disclosure of ingredients of professional salons. The fact of the matter is, while this is federal, there are state laws that have even stricter guidelines and these federal laws. And now the question is going to become do the weeks safety standards that are set by federal regulation, is that now going to supersede the state safety regulations so that some companies have a pass because they are meeting federal regulation, which is of a higher regulatory standard than there are state?

00:40:15:22 - 00:41:01:15
Unknown
So that's been a concern. And lastly, it's you I mean, taking action, as I mentioned, in all these sectors, doesn't just happen in one sector. It really requires the community, it requires public policy, it requires institute skills, individuals. It requires educating the younger generation to be proud of whatever they're born with and not try to formulate themselves into this Eurocentric view unless that's what they want and not that it's because they're trying to be what our standards are.

00:41:01:17 - 00:41:29:24
Unknown
And so with that, I want to thank you and. Just say that none of what I've presented was done in a silo of a number of different collaborators and funders and support that I work with. But I know I try to leave as much time as possible so that I can engage you all to answer your questions. Well, thank you so much, Dr. MacDonald.

00:41:29:24 - 00:42:10:08
Unknown
I mean, I learn some new terminology and equitably exposed, like just the sound of that just my gosh, everyone, it's now time for our Q&A portion. So I'm going to start with some previously submitted questions and some that are coming in live. Are we ready? Right. Is permanent hair dye singled out or do you semi or demi permanent hair colors have the same effects of, you know, exposure?

00:42:10:10 - 00:42:33:16
Unknown
They do. I think when we're talking about permanent hair dye, we think about population level. When we measure it, we ask, do you use hair dye? And it's like, yes or no. And then we ask like, what colors you use. Sometimes we say, Do you use hair dye? Is a permanent or semi-permanent? And what are the colors you use?

00:42:33:18 - 00:43:05:15
Unknown
But granted, let's remember these are questions that have not been particularly asked across the population because it's been not important to look at as it relates to cancer risk or any disease risk. But what studies have shown is really permanent hair dyes, especially darker hair dyes and semi-permanent hair dyes, especially darker hair dyes are associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer.

00:43:05:17 - 00:43:44:09
Unknown
Or, you know, if you were in talking about relaxers, we like we've seen a lot of the relaxers, you know, causing ovarian cancer. We really don't hear that much about it being a potential cause of breast cancer. But through your slides, it seems to be that these exposures are coming to us within our and they're endocrine disruptors. How or is it that our hormones are changing?

00:43:44:14 - 00:44:09:04
Unknown
How do the relaxers do that? Because you mentioned also in children, and I know for me I'm just getting a relaxer in our as a as a kid as well And then through adult what what does that mean for those of us with breast cancer, though? What's interesting is that, you know, the evidence has been there for breast cancer in many different forms.

00:44:09:04 - 00:44:45:08
Unknown
But what really happened was the media really took hold of the Association for Uterine, but it's been associated like I showed you prostate cancer with hair dye. So right now, the media has taken hold of uterine cancer. And I don't know if that's because we now are in the space of not just Black Beauty being, a political but black beauty being about, you know, inequity or being unequally exposed.

00:44:45:10 - 00:45:25:21
Unknown
I will say that when you're thinking about permanent hair relaxers, you are there's many chemicals in there, many different chemicals. You are applying it directly to your hair so it's close to your scalp you're inhaling and all of these things are happening. You may be tasting some whatever case may be. It is an exposure that you're experiencing. And then when we talk about the chemicals that are in them, the fact is the endocrine disrupting chemicals that we consider like phthalates and parabens, some of them like you just excrete them.

00:45:25:23 - 00:46:03:10
Unknown
They don't last very long, you just excrete them. But the fact of the matter is, like you said, you start young and it's continuous so even if you excreted it one day and the next six weeks, you're using it again. But not only are you using that again, and between that time you may be using a leave in conditioner, you may be washing your hair with a certain type of shampoo or using a placenta based deep conditioner, and then you're using that product again.

00:46:03:12 - 00:46:36:08
Unknown
So all of that, while we talk about hair relaxers, is there is a cumulative it is an environmental seep because I haven't even mentioned where you live, what you do, right. I'm just talking about your routine for your personal beauty, which is your hair having touched on face skin or anything like that. Wow. I don't even think about the inhaling part because those fumes are strong.

00:46:36:10 - 00:47:09:14
Unknown
Okay, let's see. How did we. Okay, so how do we know what is a good product line for skin or hair? Person says they've heard oils for hair are endocrine disruptors. Is that true? And I know you did like touch on that. And I think for a lot of us, hard to know. Like will this actually work on us even though it hadn't been just natural yet.

00:47:09:15 - 00:47:39:21
Unknown
So yes, there is some oils like lavender is actually estrogenic. But what I want to like, the fact is define a product line that works for you that is challenging. And it may be why we are partially nine times the people. The black women are buying products because you buy something, it doesn't work. You try something else that doesn't work, etc., etc..

00:47:39:23 - 00:48:04:01
Unknown
So this is not new. The difference is that I always advise take a product that you use on a that you can't live without a product to use on a daily basis. Now, this could be makeup, this could be hair, like a leaving conditioner, something that you put on your body on a regular basis. Substitute that one product.

00:48:04:03 - 00:48:32:09
Unknown
One option is to substitute that one product from a line that has all natural product. So you don't have to think about it when you go to try another product. So what I've done is I've gone to the breast cancer prevention partners and gone to their Black Beauty project and said like, I want a new night cream, like a night face cream, because I always use it.

00:48:32:15 - 00:49:03:22
Unknown
I'm very particular about it. And then I replaced it. I didn't replace every single beauty product at once because that's just really expensive and you don't even know if the one you're buying works. So what I say is one, start with what do you really want to change? Because you know, you're getting that exposure every day of the week and you can't live without it and then find a clean product.

00:49:03:22 - 00:49:39:08
Unknown
I mean, I think that on the Black Beauty product they mentioned like Cobra K, I know that Sheamoisture is considered a clean product. There's other brands out there. You can use your app, you can say, I'm going to download the Know Detox Me app and I'm going to take the time to just find a new to body lotion and you can scan.

00:49:39:10 - 00:50:17:00
Unknown
It takes time. It's not something that happens overnight and also is not something that you're expected to know by just reading the ingredients, especially because not all the chemicals are necessarily on the ingredient label. And when you see fragrance, that simply means phthalates and that's endocrine disrupting chemical. But they don't have to say what phthalates are in there because fragrance is proprietary.

00:50:17:02 - 00:51:04:07
Unknown
Even though it impacts our health companies are protected. So let's say trying to combine some of these questions here are I want to talk about like so you mentioned a few household products. What about light? Do anti you know, deodorants natural deodorants like all right do they really work? Because we're often told in the breast cancer space or in the cancer space that the aluminum and and all of that in our deodorants that we should go natural.

00:51:04:09 - 00:51:34:24
Unknown
But how it's been really tough to find ones that work that actually do prevent the odor and then even like as we think of laundry detergents and soaps and those being natural, like sometimes it seems like it does it clean as well, or is it because we're not using? And that's I think it's hard to kind of shift from, you know, using something that you use forever to, okay, now we're going to go clean products.

00:51:35:00 - 00:52:11:15
Unknown
Will they work? Yeah. So just because something natural doesn't mean that it's that it's clean for one. And like I said, lavender oil is completely clean, but it does can like it is estrogenic. Like it's the fact that there's many natural things out there that can impact our health as well. What I would say when it comes to deodorant, I mean, I've tried and I figured out like which ones work, which ones, but me and my sister of just very sweaty people and we she she's like, I just I'm going to sweat.

00:52:11:17 - 00:52:35:02
Unknown
I just don't want to. And I'm like, I don't want to sweat and I don't want to stay. And so I say, you know what? I'm a bite the bullet. And during the summertime I'm going to use a deodorant that makes me not sweat and not stink because that's my personal choice. So I think one thing is really important is that it's a it's a lifestyle, Right?

00:52:35:08 - 00:53:08:21
Unknown
So what are you going to do to impact your lifestyle? Like, what's important to you? It's to me that when I'm out in spaces giving talks, that I don't have pit stains during the talk, but that's the risk I'm taking for myself. But for example, I don't wear makeup every day. Like I just don't. I am very particular about what I wash my hair with, what I put on my hair because remember, these are cumulative exposures.

00:53:08:21 - 00:53:35:04
Unknown
These are things that are constant. So you just got to figure out what's best for your lifestyle. Now, when it comes to detergents, once again, like, sometimes like we're not going to go outside and just use like rocks and beat our clothes clean. Like no one's saying to go back to that time. But you can pick non fragrant, non dry cleaning products.

00:53:35:06 - 00:54:02:13
Unknown
You can use vinegar and water like there's a certain things can do that reduces your exposure. Maybe it's not eliminating, but it reduces your exposure. That's for me, I don't need to have that commercial where I smell my blanket and I get transcend it to another space. But some people do. And then you should keep that and you should make you use a safer one.

00:54:02:15 - 00:54:35:17
Unknown
But for me, it's like, okay, I'm a use deodorant. I'm not using that what you said, thinking of the things that you use in your daily life. can you hear me okay? I can hear you now. Okay, Let's say, I'm a little unstable here with my connection. So you've given us some, like, websites, and I put them in the chat for everyone.

00:54:35:17 - 00:55:11:14
Unknown
And don't worry everyone. We're also going to add all of those apps. We'll put that when we send out the recording that Dr. McDonald had in her presentation. So you can look at those different apps that will help you as you're trying to shop or identify products. You're changing out products for something that is clean. But what about, let's say, all right, so have these toxic chemicals been banned from use now that they have been proven to be harmful?

00:55:11:14 - 00:55:44:06
Unknown
Because I clearly see on a lot of products like a lot. it's never been free. It's it's free. Have all of those toxic chemicals been banned? no, they're not banned. But there's a movement. And because of the movement, people are more aware and so they want family paraben free products. And so it's marketing because those are the products that you buy and those are the products that are probably a little bit more expensive.

00:55:44:08 - 00:56:12:23
Unknown
Now, If they were banned, then we'd be on an equitable playing field for all products being paraben free and phthalate free and not up charged. So no, they're not banned. Now there's been replacement chemicals that have been put into play. Those are scary to me because we don't know what they do for human populations because they don't need to be tested before they're put into the product.

00:56:13:00 - 00:56:35:23
Unknown
So we don't necessarily know what are the replace to make chemicals and what are the health outcomes related to them. So it's kind of like you go with the devil you know, or you go with the devil that's being designed. There is more brain chemistry out there that's trying to create safer alternatives. So I would say that that's happening.

00:56:35:23 - 00:57:12:17
Unknown
But the European Union Cosmetic Directive has like an extremely exhaustive list of things that are banned. We had one page, but all of the major regulatory act and now we have mokwa the modernization. But that's that's 80 years of a difference. And then the reason they're also not banned is because you're not going to do a clinical trial like, for example, you can't ban nobody banned Cigarets It's clearly carcinogenic.

00:57:12:19 - 00:58:06:15
Unknown
It clearly causes cancer, but they're not banned. But there is a warning label. So these chemicals, these products, they're they're not going to be banned, but it's just making the people aware that when they're choosing it, they know what health outcomes are associated with it. And then one question that was actually about hair used and protective styles. And I just want to get to this before we end because it's really important and it's just coming up where Silent Spring Institute, which is based in Massachusetts, there is an individual really looking at the hair that we use for protective styling and its association with health outcomes because how that hair is treated and the fact that

00:58:06:15 - 00:58:39:15
Unknown
it's tied directly to your scalp and you wear it, it's on your face, it's on your neck, and you wear it for a very considerable amount of time. She's now looking at is there an association with this, the treatment of the hair and health outcomes, Once again, unequal exposure, because this is a style that is commonly used among one demographic and not the other.

00:58:39:17 - 00:59:10:15
Unknown
My gosh, I didn't know that. Like, wow. Well, Dr. McDonnell, there, I think we could continue talking with you for one another month with more and more questions. So everyone, I try to get to as many questions as possible. Is there any ones that you have that are burning desire you can email us and we'll get those over to Dr. MacDonald.

00:59:10:17 - 00:59:31:01
Unknown
But I just have to say thank you so much for your time, your expertise, your guidance, these resources. We really, really appreciate it. And to all of you in the audience, thank you so much for being with us today. We will have the recording of this program. It'll be up on our website in about 1 to 2 weeks.

00:59:31:01 - 00:59:58:24
Unknown
And again, we will put all the resources and link to those and the list of the apps that Dr. MacDonald mentioned. So you can have those as well and make sure to check out Cher's What site for upcoming educational programs, podcast episodes and our support group. So seeing what's happening and don't forget to follow us on social media as well.

00:59:59:01 - 01:00:22:17
Unknown
And once you leave this webinar, you will see a survey. So if you could please fill those out because that helps drive what type of programing that we do in the future. So again, Dr. MacDonald and our audience, thank you so for being here today. Thank you. And have a great rest of the day. Thank you, everyone. Bye bye.

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