Of all racial and ethnic groups, African Americans have the highest death rate from most cancers, including colon, stomach, prostate, and breast cancer. See Cancer and African Americans.
Cancer is “a complex group of diseases with many possible causes.” Common causes include smoking and tobacco use, diet and lack of physical activity, exposure to the sun or other types of radiation, and some viruses and other infections. See What Causes Cancer.
In addition to genetics and lifestyle, chemicals in personal care products have been linked to cancer. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
Our personal care products are outdated and dangerous. Asbestos. Formaldehyde. Lead. Sadly, toxic chemicals in our cosmetics, sunscreens and skin care products have gone unregulated as far back as the Great Depression. While other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they’re used.
In fact, EWG found in a study that 70% of personal care products marketed to Black customers contain dangerous ingredients compared to 40% of hair products made for the public generally. “Big Market for Black Cosmetics, but Less-Hazardous Choices Limited.”
EWG has created "EWGs Skin Deep" website -- a site that allows you to search for safety information about the ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, soaps, lotions, makeup, nail polish, and sunscreen. EWGs Skin Deep also includes a page to help you to find out safety information for products sold by Black-owned brands. For more information click here: EWG Skin Deep Black-Owned Brands.