Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NTM NEWS BRIEF: Untested Chemicals in Beauty Products (ABC News)

Last night ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer ran a great story that really brought to the mainstream media and public’s attention the lack of chemical regulation in the US and why this is so important for each and every one of us!

The average woman uses, on average, 12 beauty and personal care products a day; thus exposing herself to over 120 chemicals, most of which have never been tested for safety on humans.  How many beauty products do you use?  Think about it: 
  1.  shampoo
  2. conditioner
  3. soap/body wash
  4. moisturizer cream
  5. sunscreen
  6. foundation
  7. blush
  8. lipstick
  9. mascara
  10. eye makeup
  11. hand moisturizer
  12. makeup remover
  13.  night cream
  14. deodorant
  15. hand soap......

The average man uses about half, an average of 6  products, thus exposing themselves to an  average of 80  never tested chemicals.

What about your children?   Shampoo, body wash/soap, moisturizer?  How many chemicals are listed (and probably not listed) as ingredients in their personal care products?


Shampoo:  can have formaldehyde (known carcinogen)  and dioxane, and phthalates (linked to allergies, hormone disruptions and dermatitis)

  • lipstick:  lead
  • deodorant:  parabens possibly linked to cancer
  • skin lightning creams:  mercury
  • nail polish:  toluene
  • perfume:  phthalates
  • moisturizing creams:  Parabens and phthalates

...and the list goes on and on.

Europe has banned:  1200 of chemicals found in personal care products.
The US? Only 10 of these chemicals have been banned!

What this means:   Many companies that sell products both in the US and European markets are actually offering Europeans safer products than those sold in the US.  They have reformulated their products to meet European safety standards, however are not using these ‘safer’ reformulations in the US.  Instead they have continued to sell the original toxic chemical recipe.   (note:  not all companies do this.   Some, like Vichy for example, sell their “paraben free” Aqualia Thermal riche moisture cream - among other products, in CVS in the US!)


Consumers like us are becoming more informed and there is talk of Congress passing a Bill regulating cosmetics by this summer  that would require cosmetic companies to label ALL ingredients (today they do not have to)  and specifically prohibiting chemicals linked to cancer or reproductive problems.


  • Write your local Congressman/women and stress how important this Bill would be.. especially for children’s products. 
  •  Don’t buy products that list ingredients you can’t pronounce.   The more natural the ingredients the better.  
  • Since many companies do not have to disclose all of their ingredients stick to well known companies with truly green reputations. 
  • Check your products on EWG’s Skin Deep Database.  This is an online cosmetics safety database created by the Environmental Working Group where you can research the products already in your home or find safer products for women, men and kids before you go to the store. It is as simple as inputting the name of the product and clicking ‘search’!!
  • A great website  of reviews of non-toxic beauty products for the whole family? My friend Ana Da Costa’s blog: Green Beauty Gal 

To see the entire ABC New story click here!

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