In many of the individual instances, the amount of chemical in that individual exposure is minimal and fall under the "toxic" exposure level set by the EPA.
However, the additive effect and repeated exposure to toxins that are under the approved "toxic" level, drastically change the picture.
Parabens, which have been detected in breast tissue, are always stated to be in ultra low concentrations, the problem is that they are in everything from shampoo to skin lotions.
So, if every application of skin lotion, liquid soap, shampoo and makeup all contain parabens, the daily dose is much larger than the one exposure. In addition, parabens are fatty soluble and accumulate in tissue. Methyl paraben seem to be the most detected in breast tissue as compared with ethyl or propyl paraben.
There are other preservatives and solvents used in personal care aside from parabens: Phenylendiamene, a chemical used in just about all hair coloring products, including most "natural" hair dyes found at health food stores, has been found to have mutagenic effects on mouse DNA.
1-4 Dioxane which is listed by the EPA as a class B2 carcinogen, has actually been found in many brands labeling themselves as organic such as Jason, Kiss My face, Giovanni and Natures Gate.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate has been found to have an effect that mimics estrogen, meaning it can stimulate estrogen receptors. while the effect is low, it is the fact that these effects can accumulate or work synergistically that is the problem. Anything that can stimulate the estrogen receptor can theoretically contribute to estrogen related breast cancer.
While the information above is covers only a small list of potential toxic or carcinogenic compounds found in personal body care, it is a list of by far the most common potentially damaging ingredients.
Make an attempt to eliminate paraben preserved body care, If you color your hair, foiling with highlights or lowlights is safer as the chemical does not touch your scalp. Use shampoos and body washes that are laureth free and stop using perfumes or perfumed anything.
While we can't completely avoid exposure to toxic chemicals, we can make smart choices and limit what we do have control over.