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Warning Labels On Cosmetics?

Sounds as if the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit public-interest research group known for making connections between chemical exposure and adverse health conditions, is getting a lot more attention these days. They issued a popular study last summer that found just 28 common cosmetics and toiletries out of 7,500 had all of its ingredients fully tested for safety.

Last month, the FDA notified the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association their manufacturer members may be forced to issue warnings on products whose ingredients have yet to be tested for their safety, even though the federal agency currently does no due diligence before new cosmetics hit the market.

Not surprisingly, an industry-funded group, called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, has found just nine out of about 700 ingredients it has tested to be unsafe. Even less reassuring, the panel has reviewed only about 11 percent of more than 10,000 cosmetic ingredients tracked by the FDA in their 30-year existence.

And some ingredients, like triethanolamine (used in skin scrubs), are among a group of chemicals researchers fear might cause cancer.

Among the products, based on the EWG report, that could receive FDA warning labels:

  • Hair dye
  • Mascara
  • Liquid hand soap

Please don't ignore this issue. Recognize whatever you spread on your skin has a very real chance of being absorbed into your blood stream and causing some serious damage to your body. If you want to learn about the potential toxicity of your cosmetics, I urge you to review the EWG's extensive "Skin Deep" report.

Yahoo News March 12, 2005

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