Dangers of Makeup – Are Your Cosmetics Safe?

Cosmetics CounterWhen people think of illness they think inside the body, however most pathogens or illness are introduced to us from sources outside the body. Are your cosmetics safe? Please see our page titled Cosmetics Reviewed for information on products we have purchased and our opinions on not only the saftey of the cosmetics but are they as easy to use or “comfortable” as the brands you may be used to using. Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it’s a good product. So read this cosmetics information and then read our reviews.

Quickly and Easily Compare the Cosmetic Brands You Use With The “Skin Deep” Report.

Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group. As part of The Environmental Working Group’s ongoing project to test and quantify the danger potential of your cosmetics, Skin Deep gets direct to the problem! Includes all the popular brand names of products including toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, et el.

Just how dangerous your Shampoo, Bar Soap, Hair Coloring, etc? FDA May require warning on untested Products

By David Goldstein, Knight Ridder Newspapers- March 2005

WASHINGTON – Imagine reaching for a tube of lipstick or a can of shaving cream and finding this label: “Warning – The safety of this product has not been determined” Many popular cosmetics and personal care products could bear such warnings if the Food and Drug Administration decides they need them. The agency would act if it determines that their ingredients haven’t been adequately tested to assure their safety. It’s now working to decide that.

Last month the FDA informed the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, a Washington-based trade group, that manufacturers of untested products may have to add the warning. There’s no hard evidence of any health impact from long-term, low-dose exposure to the kinds of chemicals in cosmetics, said Lauren Sucher, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Working group, a private nonprofit research center. (Editors Note: That’s exactly why they need to be tested to see if they really are safe!)

Cosmetics Saftey: Dangers of Makeup Continued

Some ingredients in cosmetics, such as methylpentan-2-one, found in nail polish, haven’t been tested. Others, including triethanolamine, used in skin scrubs, are among the chemicals that researchers fear might cause cancer. Products that could be in line for FDA warnings, based on the Environmental Working Group’s study, include:

  • Mascara, which can contain ingredients linked or potentially linked to cancer.
  • Liquid hand soap, which may contain ingredients suspected of raising the risk of breast and skin cancer.
  • Hair dye, which can contain coal tar, which has been linked to bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“The bottom line is people don’t know what the health effects are of the many chemicals we’re putting on our bodies every day,” she said. “But consumers do have the right to know who’s looking to see whether they’re safe.” A study last year by the Environmental Working Group found that only 18 of 7,500 common cosmetics and toiletries had had all their ingredients fully tested for safety. “So we’re talking about over 99 percent that have never been fully assessed for safety,” Sucher said.

Companies often do tests of short-term acute exposure to see whether their products make eyes water or skin itch,” she said. “Often, however, they’re not looking at whether they might cause cancer or birth defects that are long-term and don’t affect the profitability of their products.”

Eric Kraus, the vice president for corporate communications at The Gillette Co., in Boston, which makes shaving creams and other personal care products, said: “Gillette products undergo rigorous testing, based on the best available scientific information, to assure that they are safe for use and for our employees to make. For us, this should not be an issue.”

Kraus said he believed that Gillette’s product-safety tests included determinations of whether they could cause birth defects or cancer. (Editors comment: Once again Corporate America to the rescue, we are being asked to put our faith and our health in the hands of a for profit corporation that’s not in the business of wellness, but in the business of profit!)

FDA Does NOT Require Cosmetic Ingredients be Tested for Safety

There’s no federal requirement that the ingredients in such products be tested for safety. But federal law requires that cosmetics with unassessed ingredients include an FDA warning label informing consumers that “the safety of this product has not been determined.” Until now, the FDA has relied on the cosmetics industry to police its products.

Dr. Samuel Epstein, professor emeritus of environmental and occupational health at the Chicago School of Public Health at the University of Illinois and the chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, called the FDA’s recent letter to the cosmetics trade group “the first glimmer of responsibility in several decades.”

Janet Bartucci, the vice president for global communications at New York-based Estee Lauder, the cosmetics and personal care products company, said in an interview that she saw no need for FDA intervention. “Because there is so much testing done by individual companies, they haven’t had any need to step in.” (Editors Comment: Got to throw up the bullshit flag on this one, the only testing that’s being done is how well the product will sell. These people are not funding medical research – if they were they would be citing it in their sales literature. This is exactly the type of comment you should expect from a company representative, and the kind of comment that could lead you to the grave if believed).

The FDA declined to comment for this article because it’s still reviewing a petition by the Environmental Working Group seeking recalls or warning labels on a wide variety of personal-care products.

The FDA doesn’t assess the safety of cosmetics and toiletries before they hit the market, as it does with drugs. The cosmetics industry does its own evaluations through an independent panel of experts whom it appoints. Editors Comment: Gee now that’s comforting, isn’t this what the tobacco companies do? Appoint their own group of experts to tell us there is no proof that cigarettes cause health problems?)

Representatives of the FDA and the Consumer Federation of America, an alliance of public interest groups, attend those sessions. Since 1976, the panel, known as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, has found 694 ingredients to be safe and nine to be unsafe. In a statement this week, the Environmental Working Group said the panel had reviewed only 11 percent of the 10,500 cosmetic ingredients recorded by the FDA.

“The 89 percent of ingredients that remain unassessed are used in more than 99 percent of all products on the market,” the group’s statement said.

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, which created the review panel, responded positively to the FDA’s letter suggesting stronger federal oversight of its products.

“Even an industry with an exemplary safety record such as ours functions best with a tough cop on the beat and we welcome FDA’s action,” Ed Kavanaugh, the association president, said in a prepared statement. In an interview, however, Irene Malbin, the association’s vice president for public affairs, called the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” study “completely wrong.” (Editors Comment: The FDA a tough Cop? That’s laughable. It’s about MONEY people, the FDA approved Bovine Growth Hormone in the Dairy Industry in 1994 and the effects have been devastating. WAKE UP! You have to take responsibility for your own health, if you think the FDA – whom also approves of Fluoridated Drinking Water – has your health interests in mind? To believe so is about as logical as going to the Post Office and asking one of the clerks for Medical advice the next time you are feeling ill. Don’t get me wrong I’m FOR the FDA regulating and requiring testing of these products and very grateful for organizations like the Earth World Group, I just get offended by For Profit company reps tooting their own horn)

“Cosmetics are safe and consumers can have complete confidence in their products,” Malbin said. (Editors Comment: And that is why Cancer is the #2 Killer of USA citizens right behind Heart Disease – what causes cancer? Go ahead and coat yourself with chemicals and be part of the cancer team!)

The use of cosmetics dates to ancient Egypt, when people used eye makeup and scented themselves with unguents. Now it’s a $35 billion U.S. industry, and the stakes for consumer confidence are high. Concern over the use of possibly dangerous chemicals in personal-care products “marks a trend of increased regulatory and consumer interest,” said Heather Langsner, a senior chemical analyst with Innovest, a New York-based investment research firm. “Many companies are already conducting voluntary phase-outs of certain chemicals. They see the writing on the wall.”

The “Skin Deep” report and a searchable product guide are available online on the Environmental Working Group’s Web page, at Cosmetics Safety Database (Select Searchable product guide to see what kind of posions you are putting on and in your body – pay particular attention to DENTAL products as there really isn’t anything even close to being non-toxic. And this goes in your mouth? And Children swallow as much as 1/3rd of the toothpaste they brush with. WAKE UP and support this effort!

Goldstein covers Washington for The Kansas City Star. Kimberly Morrison contributed to this story.

Posted by on Jul 11th, 2008 and filed under Cosmetics / Hygiene. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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