A common cosmetic procedure that dermatologists use to make your skin look younger may endanger your health. Lab research now suggests that the million people who let their doctors put this substance on their skin annually are being exposed to a possible cancer-causing chemical.
The chemical in question is a substance called TCA (trichloroacetic acid), an ingredient in chemical peels that physicians apply to patients’ skin to take off damaged cells, remove age spots and eliminate scars.
But studies of the carcinogenicity of TCA are making researchers nervous. Consequently, the International Agency on Cancer Research is urging that TCA be officially classified as a carcinogenic chemical. In response, California has announced its intention of putting TCA on its toxic substance registry.
Martha Sandy, chief of the Reproductive and Hazard Assessment Branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency told The New York Times: “When there’s evidence of carcinogenicity in animals, we assume it has the potential to cause harm in humans. One of the purposes of putting a compound on the list is to make the public aware of the current state of scientific knowledge.”