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.
If you love EWG's Skin Deep database, then this series is for you. If you've never even heard of our Skin Deep database, this series is also for you. And for pretty much anyone else on the planet who uses toothpaste, shampoo, diaper cream, lipstick, cologne, shaving cream, nail polish and basically any other "personal care product" you can think of.Read More
EWG’s Olga Naidenko testifies before the New York City Counsel Committee on Environmental Protection in support of a proposed law to require testing for pharmaceuticals and personal care product chemicals in New York City drinking water.Read More
Last month, you saw the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' first video about cosmetics safety, What's going on with toxic chemicals in cosmetics?Read More
It's a question most people are surprised by, in a "Huh, that's something I need to think about?" way. Check out this new video from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of nonprofits, co-founded by EWG, that works to get toxic chemicals out of personal care products. As it makes all too clear, your average park-goer thinks that some government agency regulates personal care products to make sure they're safe.Read More
I'm a veteran of many a house party for change - and a big fan of the concept. In fact, I got started in online activism at a friend's Moms Rising house party, where we watched a short film and discussed how we could create change - in our own lives and in the public policies that govern them.Read More
Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook today sent a UV-protective umbrella and letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the agency to issue safety standards for sunscreens.Read More
Most people use around 10 personal care products every day with an average of 126 unique ingredients. The government's NOT protecting us. We'd like to believe that the government is policing the safety of all of these mixtures we're putting on our bodies, but they're not. Instead, these under-regulated chemicals are causing concerns for human health and the environment - whether they seep through your skin or wash down your drain.Read More
A while back, EWG staff scientist Olga Naidenko wrote here about the need to focus breast cancer research on prevention - with an emphasis on the role of carcinogens.Read More
For me, EWG's Skin Deep database has always been a place to get a score. Then, depending where in the 1 to 10 hazard range my personal care product falls (come on, toothpaste, get a 1!), either rush off to buy it, avoid it like the plague, or keep searching. But there's so. much. more. in Skin Deep.Read More
Last week I took my kids for a haircut. We go to a terrific woman in our neighborhood who runs a hair salon out of her house, and she's cut my kids hair since their very first cut. She's warm, patient and loves my kids. While my 6-year-old son was squirming in her chair, she offered to have her daughter paint my 3-year old's toenails.Read More
Here at EWG we spend a lot of time investigating the failure of the Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to keep our food, water and consumer goods safe. We focus on toxic chemicals, but, as it turns out, the FDA works pretty much the same no matter what "innovation" is getting pushed onto the market without labeling or testing.Read More
New report finds that common kid's bath products like shampoo and bubble bath have toxic chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.Read More
Last week was particularly exciting to be at EWG and part of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The new report shed even more light on an old danger we all know about-- personal care products that our youngest use are loaded with a cocktail of toxic chemicals, including known and probable carcinogens. The U.S. government has not established any safety standards formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane in personal care products.Read More
Children’s bath products are often marketed as safe and gentle. However, laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found these products are commonly contaminated with formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane – and, in many cases, both. These two chemicals, linked to cancer and skin allergies, are anything but safe and gentle and are completely unregulated in children’s bath products.Read More
Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” dozens of top-selling children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to product test results released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The chemicals were not disclosed on product labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.Read More
While it’s common to see lipstick sales jump during an economic recession, the current global financial crisis may not produce the same result in Canada where the government today declared two chemicals used in lipstick and other personal care products to be toxic.Read More