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Concern Grows Over Chemicals in Cosmetics

Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Posted 2 June 04 by Liz Moore

There's increasing concern about the risks of chemicals in personal care products. The Independent reports that the growing use of cosmetics and toiletries, which contain many known toxic or untested chemicals, may be harming children who will develop cancer and fertility problems as adults.

In recent years, research has connected health problems with untested chemicals regularly used in products such as nail polish, shaving gels and lotions. Because health studies are not required, most personal care products in the United States contain ingredients that have never been tested for safety. Little is known about the health effects of repeated exposures to small doses of untested chemicals over a consumer's lifetime.

An EWG investigation of beauty products reported that scientists are finding high levels of a chemical called dibutyl phthalate in women of reproductive age, placing them at possible risk of birth defects. EWG's investigation pushed several cosmetics companies to phase out this chemical.