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One Out of Five Cosmetics May be Contaminated With Cancer-Causing Impurity

As Valentine's Day just around the corner, loving thoughts are typically expressed with gifts, often encompassing scented perfumes, colognes or toiletries. Because loopholes in federal law allow cosmetic manufacturers to hide potentially dangerous chemicals, however, the Environmental Working Group built this timely Show Us Your Secrets Web page to remind you just how unsafe most of these products really are.

Here's the catch that permits cosmetic companies to hide the toxic load of their chemicals in plain sight: Even though federal laws require manufacturers to list all chemical ingredients contained in a given product, those very same regulations provide a loophole which allows them to omit the unique mixture of components that create its fragrance.

Protected under the umbrella of federal law, companies can hide any health-harming combination of chemicals to their cosmetics that may harm, among others, your unborn baby and you'd never know it, even after carefully reviewing product labels.

Just a reminder, a miniscule portion of cosmetics and toiletries have ever had all of their ingredients tested for safety, and the toothless FDA doesn't review the safety of fragrances either. And, one of those primary ingredients hidden in fragrances -- phthalates -- is among the more common poisons you're exposed to every day.

Environmental Working Group