References for our #DitchTheJunk guide | Breast Cancer UK

References for our #DitchTheJunk guide

Below are the references used to compile our #DitchTheJunk guide to safer cosmetics:



Harley, K. G. et al. (2016). Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 124(10): 1600-1607

Darbre, P. D. and Charles, A. K. (2010). Environmental Oestrogens and Breast Cancer: Evidence for Combined Involvement of Dietary, Household and Cosmetic Xenoestrogens. Anticancer Research 30: 815-828.

Takkouche, B. et al. (2009). Risk of Cancer Among Hairdressers and Related Workers: A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology 38: 1512-1531.

Konduracka, E. et al. (2014). Relationship between everyday use cosmetics and female breast cancer. Polish Archives of Internal Medicine 124 (5): 264-269.

Larsson, K. et al. (2014) Exposure determinants of phthalates, parabens, bisphenol A and triclosan in Swedish mothers and their children. Environment International 73: 323-33.

Jeong, H. et al. (2017). Identification of Linkages between EDCs in Personal Care Products and Breast Cancer through Data Integration Combined with Gene Network Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(10): 1158.

Llanos, A. A. M. et al. (2017). Hair product use and breast cancer risk among African American and White women. Carcinogenesis 38(9): 883–892. (note this is a US study; some of the chemicals used in hair products are banned in the EU).

Synthetic musks

Gomez, E., (2005). Estrogenic activity of cosmetic components in reporter cell lines: parabens, UV screens, and musks. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 68(4):239-51.

Bitsch, N., et al. (2002). Estrogenic activity of musk fragrances detected by the E-screen assay using human mcf-7 cells. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 43(3):257-64. 

Taylor, K. M. et al. (2014). Human exposure to nitro musks and the evaluation of their potential toxicity: an overview. Environmental Health 13: 14.

Li, Z. et al. (2013). Effects of polycyclic musks HHCB and AHTN on steroidogenesis in H295R cells. Chemosphere 90: 1227-1235.


Darbre, P. D. and Harvey, P. W. (2014). Parabens can enable hallmarks and characteristics of cancer in human breast epithelial cells: a review of the literature with reference to new exposure data and regulatory status. Journal of Applied Toxicology 34(9): 925-938.

Gopalakrishnan, K. et al. (2017) Changes in mammary histology and transcriptome profiles by low-dose exposure to environmental phenols at critical windows of development. Environmental Research 152: 233–243.

Pan, S. et al. (2016) Parabens and human epidermal growth factor receptor ligand cross-talk in breast cancer cells. Environmental Health Perspectives 124(5): 563-569.

Lillo, M. A. et al. (2016) Methylparaben stimulates tumor initiating cells in ER+ breast cancer models. Journal of Applied Toxicology 37: 417–425.

Barr, L. et al. (2012). Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to sternum. Journal of Applied Toxicology 32(3): 219-232.


Stout, M. D. et al. (2008). Influence of Helicobacter hepaticus Infection on the Chronic Toxicity and Carcinogenicity of Triethanolamine in B6C3F1 Mice. Toxicologic Pathology 36: 783-794.

EC (2014). Opinion concerning dialkyl- and dialkanolamines and their salts in cosmetic products adopted by the SCCNFP during the 17th plenary meeting of 12 June 2001. [Accessed November 20, 2017]

Coyle, Y.M. et al. (2005). An ecological study of the association of environmental chemicals on breast cancer incidence in Texas. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 92(2):107-114.


Lee, H.-R. et. al. (2014). Progression of Breast Cancer Cells Was Enhanced by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Triclosan and Octylphenol, via an Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Signaling Pathway in Cellular and Mouse Xenograft Models. Chemical Research in Toxicology 27(5) 834-842.

Dann, A. B. and Hontela, A. (2011). Triclosan: environmental exposure, toxicity and mechanisms of action. Journal of Applied Toxicology. 31(4):285-311.

Ahn, K. (2008). In Vitro Biologic Activities of the Antimicrobials Triclocarban, Its Analogs, and Triclosan in Bioassay Screens: Receptor-Based Bioassay Screens. Environmental Health Perspectives 116(9): 1203–1210.

Christen, V. et al. (2010). Some flame retardants and the antimicrobials triclosan and triclocarban enhance the androgenic activity in vitro. Chemosphere. 81(10):1245-52.

Diethyl phthalate

Hartmann, C. et al. (2015). Human biomonitoring of phthalate exposure in Austrian children and adults and cumulative risk assessment. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 218(5): 489-499.

Hsieh, T.- H. et. al. (2012). Phthalates induce proliferation and invasiveness of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer through the AhR/HDAC6/c-Myc signaling pathway. FASEB Journal 26(2): 778 –787.

Janjua, N. R. et al. (2007). Systemic uptake of diethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, and butyl paraben following whole-body topical application and reproductive and thyroid hormone levels in humans. Environmental Science and Technology 41(15): 5564-5570.

Kim, S. M. et al. (2015). Diethyl phthalate exposure is associated with embryonic toxicity, fatty liver changes, and hypolipidemia via impairment of lipoprotein functions. Toxicology In Vitro. 30(1 Pt B): 383-93.

Aluminium in deodorant and anti-perspirant

Mandriota, S. J. et al. (2016). Aluminium chloride promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells. International Journal of Cancer 139 (12): 2781–2790.

Darbre, P. D. et al. (2013). Aluminium and breast cancer: sources of exposure, tissue measurements and mechanisms of toxicological actions on breast biology. Journal of. Inorganic Biochemistry 128: 257-261.

Exley, C. et al. (2007). Aluminium in human breast tissue. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 101: 1344-1346.

Zhou, C. (2017). Exposure to an Environmentally Relevant Phthalate Mixture Causes Transgenerational Effects on Female Reproduction in Mice. Endocrinology. 158(6):1739-1754.

Butylated hydroxytoluene

Pop, A. et al. (2016). Individual and combined in vitro (anti)androgenic effects of certain food additives and cosmetic preservatives. Toxicology in vitro 32: 269-277.

Hughes, P. J. et al. (2000). Estrogenic alkylphenols induce cell death by inhibiting testis endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pumps. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 277(3): 568-574. 

Pop, A. et al. (2013). Evaluation of the possible endocrine disruptive effect of butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene and propyl gallate in immature female rats. Farmacia 61 (1): 202-211.

Yamaki, K. et al. (2007). Enhancement of allergic responses in vivo and in vitro by butylated hydroxytoluene. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 223(2): 164-72.

Lanigan, R. S. and Yamarik, T. A. (2002). Final Report on the Safety Assessment of BHT. International Journal of Toxicology 21 (2): 19-94.


Lee, D. et al. (2015). Induction of the Estrogenic Marker Calbindn-D₉k by Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 12(11): 14610-14625.

Farasani, A. and Darbre, P. D. (2017). Exposure to cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes (cVMS) causes anchorage-independent growth and reduction of BRCA1 in non-transformed human breast epithelial cells. Journal of Applied Toxicology 37(4): 454-461.

Hanssen, L. et al. (2013). Plasma concentrations of cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes (cVMS) in pregnant and postmenopausal Norwegian women and self-reported use of personal care products (PCPs). Environment International 51: 82-87.

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing agents

Patel, K. G. et al. (2003). Alteration in thyroid after formaldehyde (HCHO) treatment in rats. Industrial Health 41(3): 295-297.

Soffritti, M. et al. (2002). Results of long-term experimental studies on the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in rats. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences 982: 87-105.

IARC (2006). WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer: IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 88 Formaldehyde, 2-Butoxyethanol and 1-tert-Butoxypropan-2-ol Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation. [Accessed Nov 21, 2017].

Coyle, Y. M., et al. (2005). An ecological study of the association of environmental chemicals on breast cancer incidence in Texas. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 92(2):107-114.

Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) OPINION ON Quaternium-15 (cis-isomer), Colipa no. P63 (2011). The SCCS adopted this opinion at its 13th plenary meeting of 13-14 December 2011. [Accessed 20 September 2017]

UV filters

Schlumpf, M. et al. (2001). In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environmental Health Perspectives 109(3): 239-244.

Schlumpf, M. et al. (2010). Exposure patterns of UV filters, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, organochlor pesticides, PBDEs, and PCBs in human milk: Correlation of UV filters with use of cosmetics. Chemosphere 81: 1171-1183.

Wang, J. (2016). Recent Advances on Endocrine Disrupting Effects of UV Filters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(8): 782.

In, S. J. et al. (2015). Benzophenone-1 and nonylphenol stimulated MCF-7 breast cancer growth by regulating cell cycle and metastasis-related genes via an estrogen receptor α-dependent pathway. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health A 78(8): 492-505

Kerdivel, G. et al. (2013). Estrogenic Potency of Benzophenone UV Filters in Breast Cancer Cells: Proliferative and Transcriptional Activity Substantiated by Docking Analysis. PloS One 2013; 8(4): e60567.

Alamer, M. and Darbre, P. D. (2017). Effects of exposure to six chemical ultraviolet filters commonly used in personal care products on motility of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells in vitro. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2017 Oct 9. doi: 10.1002/jat.3525. [Epub ahead of print]


Regev, L. et al. (2012). Hydroquinone, a benzene metabolite, and leukemia: a case report and review of the literature. Toxicology and Industrial Health 28(1):64-73.

Hu, Z. L. et al. (2012). Effects of hydroquinone and its glucoside derivatives on melanogenesis and antioxidation: Biosafety as skin whitening agents. Journal of Dermatological Sciences 55(3):179-184.

Coulter, J. B. et al. (2012). Hydroquinone increases 5-hydroxymethylcytosine formation through ten eleven translocation 1 (TET1) 5-methylcytosine dioxygenase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 288(40): 28792-28800.

Francisco, J. et al. (2013). Hydroquinone: Environmental Pollution, Toxicity, and Microbial Answers. BioMed Research International 2013 Article ID 542168.

Chen, Y. et al. (2016). Hydroquinone-induced malignant transformation of TK6 cells by facilitating SIRT1-mediated p53 degradation and up-regulating KRAS. Toxicology Letters 259: 133-142.

Myers, S. L. et al. (2015). Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity of off-the-shelf hair and skin care products. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 25(3): 271-277.

Bradshaw, L. et al. (2011) Self-reported work-related symptoms in hairdressers. Occupational Medicine 61: 328-334.

Ormond, G. et al. (2009). Endocrine Disruptors in the Workplace, Hair Spray, Folate Supplementation, and Risk of Hypospadias: Case-control Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 117(2): 303-307.

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