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Cosmetics

American families assume personal care products on the market today have been tested by the federal government. Unfortunately, the personal care products industry remains largely unregulated. The FDA does not even require safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.  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. The federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe has remained largely unchanged since 1938.

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 giving FDA the tools it needs to protect the public.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics announced today that 321 cosmetics companies have met the goals of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, the Campaign’s voluntary pledge to avoid chemicals banned by health agencies outside the U.S. and to fully disclose product ingredients – a pioneering practice in the cosmetics industry. An additional 111 companies made significant progress toward those goals.

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News Release
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Natural" and homemade cosmetics and cleaning products aren't by definition safer than mainstream products. EWG takes a closer look at two common plant-based ingredients - tea tree and lavender oils - and finds that the science is still evolving and safety can't be assumed. First of a two-part blog on health concerns tied to natural ingredients.  Part one of a two-part blog series.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, November 28, 2011

Did you know that your cosmetics could harm your health? Your makeup is probably laden with dangerous chemical ingredients that could potentially cause long-term damage. Are you having trouble getting rid of old cosmetics you don't use anymore? Do you find yourself buying the same unhealthy products every time you go to the store? Here are some tips to help you start buying safer and healthier products

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey teens! We know you probably wear make-up and use cosmetics everyday, but do you have any idea what's inside these products? Many personal care products may include dangerous chemicals that can build-up inside your body and pose risks to your health.

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News and Analysis
Article
Sunday, November 20, 2011

EWG's 2011 Teen Ambassadors interview other teens to find out how much they know about ingredients in their cosmetics - and share some shocking findings about the safety of make-up and personal care products.

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Video
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

 

The mainstream cosmetics industry has, for the first time, declared formaldehyde unsafe at any level in hair straighteners.

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News Release
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

 

Environmental Working Group issued the following statement this afternoon in response to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s warning to Brazilian Blowout that the company’s product containing carcinogenic formaldehyde is “adulterated” and “misbranded.”

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News Release
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Most people are - by now - well aware that overexposure to formaldehyde is unsafe. From the FEMA trailer fiasco (remember Katrina?) to the Obama administration's recent decision to classify formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, it's hard to not know you should avoid formaldehyde-laced products.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, June 27, 2011

Since releasing our 2011 Sunscreen Guide in May, Environmental Working Group has received dozens of requests from supporters and companies asking us to add more of their favorite products.

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Key Issues:
Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, June 27, 2011

New sunscreen rules will do away with the worst hype in sunscreen marketing. But they don't address concerns about ingredient safety, particularly a form of vitamin A which has become common in sunscreen and other skin products.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Skin Deep boasts a new look today, featuring smoother navigation, easier search functions and additional tips for consumers looking for information on the ingredients in their soap, deodorant, toothpaste and countless other personal care products.

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News Release
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EWG's investication of chemical hair straightening treatments, the largest published to date, turned up numerous complaints of hair loss, blisters, burning eyes, noses and throats, headaches and vomiting in women who had been given or had applied Brazilian-style straightening treatments.

 

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News Release
Friday, April 8, 2011

Congress, at the request of industry, has managed to delay efforts by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to classify formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, a significant step for public health protection that other U.S. and international scientific and public health agencies have already taken.

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News Release
Friday, April 8, 2011

 

EWG urges EPA to work with FDA to ban all non-medical uses of triclosan, an antibacterial additive and potent hormone disruptor. In a letter to EPA's pesticide division EWG outlines new evidence that the chemical poses an unacceptable health risk to the American public.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FOIA request to FDA regarding reports from Oregon regarding the discovery of formaldehyde in test samples of Brazilian Blowout.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

EWG has been monitoring reports from Oregon regarding the discovery of formaldehyde in test samples of Brazilian Blowout – despite claims that the products are “formaldehyde free.” Oregon health officials found concentrations of formaldehyde that were more than 50 times greater than industry’s recommended 0.2 percent limit. They conducted tests following complaints from hair stylists who experienced “eye irritation, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing” after using Brazilian Blowout’s products.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Thursday, October 28, 2010

EWG comments on FDA’s 5-year plan urge the agency to give priority to cosmetics safety, particularly nanotechnology in cosmetics, surveillance of adverse reactions and consumer education of questionable cosmetics claims.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween is spooky enough without having to worry about the toxins in your decorations and costumes. You and your family should have your haunted fun -- without being exposed to an abundance of toxic chemicals.

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Key Issues:
News and Analysis
Article
Monday, August 23, 2010

Enviroblog readers are fully aware that there are toxic chemicals in personal care products, and many turn to EWG's Cosmetics Database to find less toxic products.

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Key Issues:
News and Analysis
Article

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