Even though I’m a hippy at heart and love nature, I’m still a girly girl and enjoy my makeup. When I go to the department store to purchase a new lipstick I’m not thinking about the chemicals that were used to produce it. I’m just daydreaming how wonderful its going to make me feel and look. BUT the truth is, inside the great looking lipstick could contain lead and other toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, or other illnesses. After I come back down to earth and the effects of the new lipstick have worn off my lips, reality hits me and I start looking at all those hard to pronounce ingredients on the manufacturer label. Hmmm…It would take me HOURS to research every one of them. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice myself to mindless hours of research every time I buy a personal care product and expose myself to cancer causing additives in the process of wanting to look and feel pretty!
It’s not only makeup that is the problem. Harmful chemicals are in numerous products such as shampoos, hair dyes, colognes, shaving cream, deodorants, and even baby shampoos! Did you know Americans use an average of 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to about 126 chemicals? Combine all those toxic chemicals with our daily chemical exposures from air, water, food plus other consumer products and we are making a dangerous cancer causing brew!
“The cosmetics industry says the amounts of potentially toxic chemicals in their products are so small that they carry no risk, but we know that for some chemicals small doses can have big effects,” said Maryann Donovan, Ph.D., an expert on environmental exposures and biological effects from the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. “We need to better understand the short- and long-term health effects resulting from small doses of toxic chemicals, repeated daily exposures, exposures during fetal or infant development, and exposures to mixtures of chemicals in personal care products.”
Yesterday, Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, which overhauls the law that allows chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, or other illnesses in the products we use on our bodies every day. The legislation includes a phase-out of ingredients linked to cancer and birth defects, full ingredient disclosure, and help for small businesses to meet new regulations.
“Harmful chemicals have no place in the products we put on our bodies or on our children’s bodies,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Our cosmetics laws are woefully out of date—manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose all their ingredients on labels, leaving Americans unknowingly exposed to harmful mystery ingredients. This bill will finally protect those consumers.”
Along with the new bill, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics launched The Story of Cosmetics, a 7-minute video by Annie Leonard of The Story of Stuff that reveals the toxic side of the beauty industry and calls for regulatory change. The brief video highlights ways we can “move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.” Check it out!
Surprising isn’t it? Hopefully, this new bill will help get this junk off our shelves and give us safe alternatives.
If your looking at the back of your manufacturer label and pondering if your product contains harmful toxins, visit the Glossary Of Chemicals & Synthetics To Avoid In Personal Care Products. The website list 67 of the most dangerous toxic ingredients commonly found in personally care products.