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.
Looking for the right bug repellent for yourself and your family? EWG's Director of Research Renee Sharp and colleague Ashley McCormack give some helpful tips on ways to choose.Read More
Savvy consumers know that cosmetics do not have to be tested and proved safe before making it onto store shelves. Consumer protections for personal care products are outdated and broken, so shoppers must do their own legwork to ensure that the products they buy are safe – by reading labels and using resources such as EWG’s Skin Deep database.Read More
The Canadian government has proposed sunscreen rules much stronger than those governing U.S. sunscreens. Because numerous companies are major players in both the Canadian and United States markets, if Canada’s planned rules take effect, they could prompt welcome changes in sunscreens sold in the U.S.Read More
We need safe cosmetics reform now!
Mercury in mascara? Lead in lipstick? Scientific studies have shown that many common personal care products contain dangerous chemicals. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database evaluates nearly 80,000 personal care products and close to 10,000 ingredients in these consumer products.Read More
You asked for it, and we’re building it: a mobile shopping app for EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.Read More
Allergies are an increasingly serious health issue for millions of Americans, especially children. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of American children and teenagers reported to suffer skin allergies increased from 5.2 million reported cases between 1997 and 1999 to nearly 9.3 million between 2009 and 2011. Another 12.6 million children and teens were estimated to suffer from respiratory allergies in 2009 to 2011, according to the CDC.Read More
Ever looked at the labels on your shampoos, moisturizers and cosmetics? Do you really know what chemicals you're putting on your body? EWG scientist Nneka Leiba explains some helpful tips on what to watch out for before you buy.
As a child, one of my least favorite activities was getting my hair styled. It required a lot of time and patience -- two things I had in short supply.Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently (Sept. 7) warned Lancôme to stop making grand claims for several of its anti-aging products -- claims that would require the agency to approve them before the products could be sold to consumers.Read More
This week marked a huge victory for consumers. Johnson & Johnson, global manufacturer of such well known health and personal care products as Johnson's Baby Shampoo, unveiled plans to reformulate many of its adult cosmetic and toiletry products to remove potentially toxic or cancer-causing ingredients.Read More
Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s largest personal care product companies, has announced a groundbreaking new initiative to reformulate many of its personal care products, including baby shampoos and lotions, to remove chemicals of concern to consumers.Read More
As we change gears from the Hall of Shame and begin to focus on the upcoming annual EWG Sunscreen Database, EWG research was mentioned in a number of consumer health stories. The Washington Post ran a story on preserving the quality of the Potomac River, reminding readers to chose personal care products wisely as they end up down the drain. Forbes, Treehugger and Mother Nature News all mentioned our Hall of Shame, with the line of the week coming from Treehugger: "Environmental Working Group (EWG) to the rescue."Read More
Last month, the New York Times published a story about my efforts when I was pregnant to rid my home of toxic chemicals. The story featured a photo of my 18-month-old daughter and recounted how I threw out a large pile of cosmetics, cleaners and other products that my research, using EWG's online Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, found to contain dangerous substances. While at the time I thought I was doing the right thing for my family, when I read readers' comments, I felt as if I were on Nickelodeon, in one of those scenes when an unsuspecting person has an entire bucket of green slime dumped on her head.Read More
News coverage of EWG topics including cosmetics and household toxins appeared across the web from sites including the Los Angeles Times, Shine by Yahoo!, and Prevention. EWG released a statement on a finding from an independent science panel finding PFOA, an ingredient that has been used to make non-stick coatings and stain-resistant materials, is linked to testicular and kidney cancers.Read More
California state scientists have found that some nail polishes widely used in California salons are laced with high levels of three chemicals linked to birth defects, asthma and other health risks.Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned this week that more than 35 imported skin creams, antiseptic soaps and anti-aging lotions have recently been tied to mercury poisoning that in some instances sent users to the hospital.
The maker of Brazilian Blowout -- one of numerous hair straighteners on the market containing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen -- is now required to provide health warnings on its product's packaging and website, revamp deceptive marketing practices and pay civil penalties under California consumer protection law. These measures are part of a settlement agreement between the Los Angeles-based company and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.Read More