Fatal attraction

ON the eve of the millennium, South Fremantle’s Peter Dingle published a 60-page booklet warning of the dangers of chemicals in everyday household and beauty products.

Since then consumption has risen more than 10 times, so the nutritional toxicologist has written a more in-depth book Dangerous Beauty, aimed at a new generation.

“We have been brainwashed into thinking that we need to apply more and more chemicals onto our skin and hair to make us look healthier and younger—without giving a second thought to what they are and what they are really doing to us,” Dr Dingle says. “Increased use…in our homes and environment is out of control.”

A huge number of everyday products including shampoo, makeup, moisturisers, toothpaste, talc and baby oil, contain petrochemicals. and endocrine disruptors, like phthalates and parabens.

The US National Institute of Environmental Health Science is undertaking studies into their long term use and low fertility rates, and a variety of cancers.

Studies are also underway on aluminum in deodorants.

• Dr Peter Dingle. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

“Evidence suggests that at typical exposure concentrations, aluminum can adversely impact human breast cells, leading to breast cancer,” Dr Dingle says.

In 2008, 12-year-old Daniel Hurley died in his bathroom after using too much Lynx spray deodorant, and 10 years earlier, a 16-year-old with an obsession for smelling good died after months of spraying his entire body with deodorant.

“Jonathon Campbell had 10 times the lethal does of propane and butane in his blood,” Dr Dingle says.

“Butane propellant can affect the heart and central nervous system…through the inhalations of the lungs.”

Around 3000 new chemicals come onto the market annually, and consumers shouldn’t rely on government regulation for protection, Dr Dingle says.

“Current government legislation is incomplete and doesn’t protect you from a huge range of chemicals that are known to harm your health.”

Dangerous Beauty ($25) is available online at drdingle.com and at Manna, on South Terrace, and Peaches on Hampton Road.

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