The shampoo you buy at your local drug store must be free of toxic chemicals and safe to use, right?
The fact is, the personal care product industry is largely unregulated. No health studies or pre-market testing are required for these products. With few exceptions, companies can use any ingredient and even avoid disclosing all the chemicals that go into “fragrance.” The European Union has banned or restricted more than a thousand chemicals in cosmetics; the Food and Drug Administration has taken action on only 11.
If that comes as a shock to you, you’re not alone. According to a poll released last week, 87 percent of likely voters in the U.S. want stricter regulation of personal care products. And that’s what the Personal Care Products Safety Act recently introduced in Congress by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) would do – finally require companies to prove that their products are safe before they go on store shelves.
Until stricter regulation passes, how can you protect yourself and your family from potentially hazardous chemicals in your skin care products and makeup?
The answer is: Shop with EWG’s new personal care product verification program, EWG VERIFIED™! The EWG VERIFIED™ mark can help you quickly and easily identify products that meet our strictest health and transparency standards – keeping you in the know about what’s really in your products.
EWG VERIFIED™ items must be free of substances that EWG has put on its “unacceptable” list and meet limits for chemicals on EWG’s “restricted” list. Ingredients on these lists have been banned or restricted by U.S. or international government agencies or other authoritative public health bodies, such as the World Health Organization. Companies must also fully disclose their products’ ingredients – including the specific ingredients that make their fragrance mixtures – and follow good manufacturing practices.
There are several ways to find out which products are EWG VERIFIED™:
Look for the label on the package. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark will soon be visible to shoppers making their way down store aisles or searching for products online.
Check company websites. Companies with EWG VERIFIED™ products will have information on their websites to show which of their products meet EWG’s health and transparency standards.
- Search our Skin Deep® database. Each EWG VERIFIED™ product will be flagged in the Skin Deep® search page, with the mark appearing next to the Skin Deep® score. It will also appear at the top of all EWG VERIFIED™ product pages.
To learn more about the program, see the full list of criteria and get involved, please visit www.ewg.org/EWGVERIFIED.