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CONSUMER REPORTS - Would you use personal-care items that containing ingredients such as coal tar, triclosan, or chemicals that release formaldehyde?

Prolonged use of these ingredients may post an increased risk of cancer or other health issues, according to a year-long study done by Consumer Reports.

For instance, Naturtint hair color says it's made "with ingredients of Natural Origin," but contains a coal-tar color - called p-phenylenediamine - plus hydrogen peroxide. That combination may be carcinogenic based on preliminary animal studies.

An Arm and Hammer deodorant, which says it has "natural" deodorizers, contains triclosan - an antibacterial. It may contribute to bacterial resistance and animal studies show it's a potential hormone disruptor that may affect reproductive and developmental health.

And some body washes that claim to be "natural" and "nourishing" have ingredients like quaternium 15 and DMDM Hydantoin. When combined with water they can release formaldehyde, which is a human carcinogen if it's inhaled.

(Copyright © 2014 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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