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Sexy for You, But Poison for Your Baby

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Are Your Products Safe?
The chemicals in any one consumer product alone are unlikely to cause harm. But unfortunately, we are repeatedly exposed to industrial chemicals from many different sources on a daily basis, including cosmetics and personal care products.

Many of these chemicals have gotten into our bodies, our breast milk and our children. Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems that are on the rise in the human population. Some chemicals found in a variety of cosmetics — including phthalates, acrylamide, formaldehyde and ethylene oxide — are listed by EPA and the state of California as carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

» Learn more about lead in lipstick »
» Learn more about 1,4-Dioxane »
» Learn about the top ingredients of concern »
» View health studies »
» See if your favorite products contain toxic chemicals »

Not Too Pretty (PDF)
Independent laboratory tests found phthalates in more than 70% of health and beauty products tested – including popular brands of shampoo, deodorant, hair mouse, face lotion and every single fragrance tested.

US Laws Don't Protect Us
Major loopholes in federal law allow the $35 billion cosmetics industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no monitoring of health effects, and inadequate labeling requirements.

From the FDA website:"The regulatory requirements governing the sale of cosmetics are not as stringent as those that apply to other FDA-regulated products... Manufacturers may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, to market a product without a government review or approval."

Read more about the FDA's authority over cosmetics »

European Laws Mean Safer Products
The European Union has more stringent and protective laws for cosmetics than the US. The EU amended the Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) in January 2003 to ban the use of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects. This amendment went into force in September 2004. (Visit the European Commission online for the most recently amended Cosmetics Directive in multiple languages.)

The European Union is also proposing to change the way it regulates all chemicals in order to better protect human health. EU wants to require chemical companies to test chemicals for health effects before they are put on the market. The Bush Administration has been working to stop Europe from passing these protective laws. See a report by Rep. Henry Waxman for more information on US interference with the EU plan to change the way chemicals are regulated.

Are you affected?
Use this checklist and find out for yourself:

Take action!
Don't let this continue to happen to you. Start using toxic free cosmetics. Make your own. And write to stop companies from continuing to do this. Check out this website to find out what more you can do, along with a list of companies, including Shaklee, who have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

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