Breast Cancer Survivor Sheds Light On Toxic Chemicals in Beauty Products

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When Tiah Tomlin-Harris got diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38, she had no family history of the disease. However, she believed one key component may have led to her diagnosis: her lifestyle.

Convinced that this was the case, Tomlin-Haris asked a social worker at the hospital if there was anything she should be doing to prevent her cancer from worsening or coming back after remission. Tomlin-Harris, who has a master’s in chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry, read about chemicals in beauty products being linked to cancer risk. However, the social worker wasn’t so convinced that the beauty products were the culprit. In fact, the social worker told Tomlin-Harris to continue using them because there was nothing she could do. Lifestyle changes don’t work.

Despite this, Tomlin-Harris still felt strongly about the harmful chemicals and toxins often found in common beauty products so she set out on a mission to educate Black women and ensure that they had better information than she did.

“Since the diagnosis, I’ve been busy helping other men and women fight, Tomlin-Harris said, according to a blog post. “I started a Facebook group called My Breast Years Ahead – Atlanta, helping women who have been affected by any type of cancer in the Atlanta area, connect and share their journey.”

In 2019, she joined Bench to Community, a research initiative in California dedicated to informing Black women about the harmful chemicals found in beauty products. The team is currently conducting research into how chemicals in beauty products may uniquely affect Black women.

Tomlin-Harris also co-founded My Style Matters, a 501c grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and supporting underserved families impacted by cancer.

“There are beauty supply stores everywhere in our community, on every corner,” Tomlin-Harris told Insider. “Beauty

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This Breast Cancer Survivor Is Spreading Awareness On Toxic Chemicals In Beauty Products

Tiah Tomlin-Harris, a cancer coach and breast health educator, confronted her breast cancer diagnosis head-on and is now shining a light on the harmful effects of toxic chemicals in beauty products.

Insider reports Tomlin-Harris was diagnosed at 38 years old without any family history of the disease. Immediately, she realized that her lifestyle might have contributed to her cancer’s development.

Shortly after receiving the news, she asked a social worker at the hospital about preventative measures in case the breast cancer worsened or returned after remission. She also noted some readings about chemicals in beauty products being linked to cancer, but the social worker refused to engage with her findings.

Instead, the social worker advised Tomlin-Harris to continue using the beauty products because lifestyle changes wouldn’t make a difference. However, Harris, who has a master’s in chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry, decided to find out for herself.

“There are beauty supply stores everywhere in our community, on every corner,” Tomlin-Harris, a Project Lead graduate with the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), told Insider. “Beauty supply stores have harmful chemicals in them. So how do we get this messaging out into the community?”

The lack of information and research about the chemicals in beauty products is alarming. Existing research studies strongly suggest that the following two groups of chemicals might be linked to cancer at certain exposure levels.

Parabens, which are used as preservatives in many cosmetic products, including makeup, moisturizers, haircare products, and shaving creams/gels, can act like a very weak estrogen in the body when penetrating the skin. As a result, researchers at City of Hope, a private medical center, found parabens to cause the increase in growth of breast cancer cells in Black women compared to white women.

Next, phthalates are most commonly used to hold

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