Cosmetics

Americans assume personal care products on the market today have been tested or approved by the federal government. However, they are largely unregulated. In fact, it has been more than 80 years since Congress last updated the federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration does not even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.

Although other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, FDA lacks the basic tools needed to ensure the safety of cosmetics and other personal care products.

Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change that.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that California Assembly's Health Committee advanced a bill that would require manufacturers of personal care products to inform the state's Department of Health Services whenever they are making products with chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, March 17, 2005

Not content to pander to the cosmetics industry by requiring no safety testing on American personal care products, the Bush administration is now working to thwart Europe’s attempts at improving product safety. Government correspondence uncovered by staff of the House Committee on Government Reform shows that the administration mixed with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for a lobbying campaign to cripple Europe’s new laws, the Oakland Tribune reports.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, March 7, 2005

FDA calls industry's bluff on product safety.

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Friday, September 24, 2004

A full-page advertisement in USA Today challenges cosmetics companies to come clean about whether they plan to remove toxic chemicals that are banned in the European Union from products sold on American shelves. The advertisement was placed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of US health and environmental groups.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Thursday, September 16, 2004

Which of those common expressions matches your outlook on consumer products and chemicals: look before you leap, or shoot first and ask questions later?

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, June 2, 2004

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.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Most people are surprised to learn that the government neither conducts nor requires safety testing of chemicals that go into health and beauty products. Today a panel funded and advised by the cosmetic industry determined that cosmetic companies can continue to add reproductive toxins known as phthalates to cosmetics marketed to women of childbearing age.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, July 8, 2002

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 per- manent birth defects in the male reproductive system.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, November 1, 2000

In September 2000, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that every single one of the 289 persons tested for the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate (DBP) had the compound in their bodies. The finding passed with little public fanfare, but surprised government scientists, who just one month earlier had rated DBP of little health concern based on the scientific assumption, which later turned out to be wrong, that levels in humans were within safe limits. DBP causes a number of birth defects in lab animals, primarily to male offspring, including testicular atrophy, reduced sperm count, and defects in the structure of the penis (CERHR 2000).

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Reports & Consumer Guides

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