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Watch out for Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics

Sumesh Sood, chief operating officer of personal care brand Organic Harvest Company, warns against a list of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics:

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makeup
You must be prepared for a touch-up once you land. Pixabay

Wonder what makes your skin itchy or turn red after you apply your favourite personal care product like cream and sunscreen? An expert says chemicals like paraben and phthalates present in the products are capable of damaging skin.

Sumesh Sood, chief operating officer of personal care brand Organic Harvest Company, warns against a list of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics:

* Phthalates: Phthalates are a group of hormone disrupting chemicals that are found in personal care products like moisturisers and shampoos. They may lead to early puberty in girls and there is also a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

chemicals
Chemicals (Representational image). Pixabay

* Parabens: Parabens are a group of compounds used to prevent fungus, bacteria and other cultures from forming in cosmetics and skincare products. They are absorbed through the skin and may cause breast cancer. They are likely to irritate skin, eyes and lungs.

* Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA): It is a common ingredient in sunscreens. It has been linked with cancer, skin irritation and rashes. The chemical also damages the liver and deepens the skin pigmentation.

Also Read: Make-up Counter Rules to be Followed

* Mineral oil: Mineral oil coats the skin like a plastic wrap, disrupting the skin’s natural ability to breathe and absorb the ‘natural moisture factor’. This causes burning, stinging, redness and irritation. The lack of moisture also leads to premature ageing of skin age. (Bollywood Country)

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Reinvent House Painting Using Christmas Trees

Fresh trees and older, abandoned Christmas trees can both be used, according to the researchers.

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The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is lit up during a ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 6, 2016. VOA

The use of a Christmas tree could soon go beyond the festive period as researchers have found that useful products such as paint and food sweeteners can be made from the chemicals extracted from pine needles used in the tree.

“The tree that decorated your house over the festive period could be turned into paint to decorate your house once again,” said researcher Cynthia Kartey from the University of Sheffield in Britain.

Christmas trees have hundreds of thousands of pine needles which take a long time to decompose compared to other tree leaves. When they rot, they emit huge quantities of greenhouse gases which then contribute to the carbon footprint.

CHristmas Tree
The process is sustainable and creates zero waste Pixabay

The major component (up to 85 per cent) of pine needles is a complex polymer known as lignocellulose. The complexity of this polymer makes using pine needles as a product for biomass energy unattractive and useless to most industrial processes.

“My research has been focused on the breakdown of this complex structure into simple, high-valued industrial chemical feedstocks such as sugars and phenolics, which are used in products like household cleaners and mouthwash,” said Cynthia.

The new research showed that with the aid of heat and solvents such as glycerol, which is cheap and environmentally friendly, the chemical structure of pine needles can be broken down into a liquid product (bio-oil) and a solid by-product (bio-char).

Christmas Tree
These chemicals are used in many industries. Pixabay

The bio-oil typically contains glucose, acetic acid and phenol. These chemicals are used in many industries — glucose in the production of sweeteners for food, acetic acid for making paint, adhesives and even vinegar.

The process is sustainable and creates zero waste as the solid by-product can be useful too in other industrial chemical processes, the University of Sheffield said in a statement on Thursday.

Also Read: Paint, Varnish Exposure may Increase Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Fresh trees and older, abandoned Christmas trees can both be used, according to the researchers. (IANS)