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Not Too Pretty

Monday, July 8, 2002

Not Too Pretty

Phthalates, Beauty Products& the FDA

View and Download the report here: Not Too Pretty

In May 2002 a coalition of environmental and public health organizations contracted with a major national laboratory to test 72 name-brand, off-the-shelf beauty products for the presence of phthalates, a large family of industrial chemicals linked to permanent birth defects in the male reproductive system. The laboratory found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of the products tested (52 of 72 products, Table 1), including nine of 14 deodorants, all 17 fragrances tested, six of seven hair gels, four of seven mousses, 14 of 18 hair sprays, and two of nine hand and body lotions, in concentrations ranging from trace amounts to nearly three percent of the product formulation.

Major loopholes in federal law allow the $20-billion-a-year cos- metics industry to put unlimited amounts of phthalates into many personal care products with no required testing, no required monitoring of health effects, and no required labeling. To our knowledge, the 72 product tests detailed in this study represent the most comprehensive information available on the occurrence of phthalates in individual beauty care products. None of the 52 phthalate-containing products lists the offending chemical on its ingredient label.

View and Download the report here: Not Too Pretty