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Cosmetics

Did you know that men and babies are both frequent users of cosmetics? The legal term “cosmetics" actually encompasses a vast array of the personal care products that we use daily, such as toothpaste, body wash and shaving cream, in addition to makeup and perfumes. Men, women and children are all exposed to potentially risky chemicals in cosmetics everyday. On average, women use 12 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 168 chemical ingredients. Men use on average 6, exposing themselves to 85 unique chemicals daily.

American families assume personal care products are regulated and the chemicals are tested, but they are not. Unfortunately, the personal care products industry remains largely unregulated. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited authority to regulate cosmetics, our current laws leave them powerless to screen for chemicals that have been linked to cancer, harm to the reproductive system in both men and women, and severe allergies, among other health effects. 

Americans have waited far too long for cosmetic safety reform. The Personal Care Products Safety Act would reform regulation of personal care products, requiring companies to ensure that their products are safe before marketing them and empowering the FDA with the tools it needs to protect the American public. The American people would be able to rely on the FDA to review the safety of cosmetic ingredients, in the same way that we rely on the FDA to ensure food and drug safety. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are growing. More than ever, you need to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. One way to do that is to wear sunscreen.

 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As the July 4th weekend approaches, EWG has added more than 30 new products to our 2015 Guide to Sunscreens! Twenty-one made our Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens and Best Moisturizers lists because they offer broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB radiation and don’t contain harmful ingredients such as retinyl palmitate.  
 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Consumers are demanding more information about the sun protection products they are using and the chemicals they are putting on their bodies, as evidenced by the overwhelming response to EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens.

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News Release
Monday, May 18, 2015

A whopping 80 percent of U.S. sun protection products analyzed by EWG contain harmful ingredients or offer inadequate protection against dangerous ultraviolet radiation -- or both, according to a new shopping guide released today by EWG.

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News Release
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Moving to address a gaping void in the nation’s system of consumer protections, Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today (April 16) filed a bill – the “Personal Care Products Safety Act” --  that would create a long-needed bipartisan framework for ensuring that cosmetics ingredients are safe.
 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, April 16, 2015

A bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would help the federal Food and Drug Administration ensure that cosmetics and other personal care products are safer.

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News Release
Thursday, December 18, 2014

The announcement by global cosmetics giant Revlon that it is removing some long-chain parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from its products is a step in the right direction, EWG Executive Director Heather White said today. 

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News Release
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nearly 3 million of these tiny plastic particles were found per square mile in parts of Lake Erie.  And many of my favorite products were major offenders.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last month (July 28) a committee convened by the National Academy of Sciences confirmed a federal interagency group’s conclusion that styrene, a chemical building block used to produce a wide variety of everyday products, can cause cancer.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, July 11, 2014

It started with a simple question – how many personal care products do people use every day?

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, May 29, 2014

The California State Assembly has overwhelmingly adopted a proposal to ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics products because they contaminate oceans, other waterways and seafood.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Renee Sharp, research director at the Environmental Working Group said today that the cosmetics industry’s legislative proposal to reform cosmetics law would deprive the federal Food and Drug Administration of the power to keep hazardous substances out of personal care products.

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News Release
Monday, January 6, 2014

EWG’s New Year’s resolution for cosmetic manufacturers:  shed bad actor ingredients that disrupt the hormone system, cause allergies and may accelerate skin cancer.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How did I spend my summer?  I hung around department store makeup aisles, looking for the much talked about “miracle” makeup, BB and CC creams. You should have seen the looks I got as I dabbed the testers on my arm – mind you, I’m a 40-year-old man wearing cargo shorts and a ratty T-shirt.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

 A new analysis by Environmental Working Group of 100 BB (beauty balm) and CC (color corrector or complexion corrector) creams concludes that they may expose users to fewer toxic chemicals than the moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen they are designed to replace.

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News Release
Friday, November 22, 2013

If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If it’s a claim made by a company trying to sell you a wrinkle cream, the federal Food and Drug Administration probably isn’t checking it out. The FDA routinely requires drugs to be tested before they are sold to consumers to ensure that they perform as promised and are safe.  EWG has long sounded the alarm that the FDA does not subject cosmetics to similar premarket reviews for efficacy and safety. After you’ve read a few ads for anti-aging creams, you might be asking yourself, are these supposed miracle creams cosmetics or drugs?  When do regulators insist on testing?  Is there sufficient FDA oversight for anti-aging products?  The answer may give you worry lines.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep App is here!  EWG’s popular online consumer guide to more than 78,000 personal care products is now available as an App for the iPhone and Android.

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News Release
Thursday, October 10, 2013

At EWG, we know how much you care about the safety of personal care products.  Over the next several weeks we will delve deeper into some of the crucial issues  surrounding these products. EWG's investigative series, "Exposing the Cosmetics Cover-Up," will take on a wide range of topics that should be on the minds of everyone who uses a personal care product.  As  EWG has long known — and as leading medical specialists recently underscored -- many cosmetics and personal care products contain potentially toxic ingredients. Major cosmetics companies have not publicly committed themselves  to removing harmful ingredients.  We'll  look at  deceptive claims made by some popular anti-aging products. And we'll help you sort out cosmetics safety facts from myths.

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, October 3, 2013

“Skin Perfector.”  “Balance, brighten, renew and protect.” “Anti-aging.” 

The ads sound too good to be true.  BB (stands for beauty balm) and CC (stands for color corrector or complexion corrector) creams claim to be all-in-one moisturizer, concealer, foundation and sometimes sunscreen.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, September 13, 2013

Yesterday marked a major victory for American consumers as mega-retailer Walmart announced a Sustainable Chemistry initiative that takes an important step toward protecting the health and wellness its customers.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post

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