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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A class action settlement requiring the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout, a popular chemical hair straightener to pay a small compensation to salon workers and customers who used its formaldehyde-laced products doesn’t go far enough to protect public health.

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News Release
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers have detected lead in 400 brands of lipstick tested by the agency. At least two popular brands had amounts of the neurotoxin above the threshold the state of California considers safe in personal care products, which is 5 parts per million.

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News Release
Monday, January 30, 2012

Environmental Working Group issued the following statement in response to the settlement between California and the manufacturer of the chemical hair treatment Brazilian Blowout:

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News Release
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

 

People are messy. So is nature. And what people do when nature unleashes its fury often makes things worse.

The staff at Environmental Working Group took a look at the major environmental news stories of the year and came up with two lists: the Top 10 Good News stories and the Top 10 Bad News stories.

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News and Analysis
Article
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
Key Issues:
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

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
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
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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Key Issues:
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

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