Are dangerous chemical toxins hiding in your personal care products? Thanks to a new cosmetics database released by The California Safe Cosmetics Program, it only takes a few clicks to find out.
Crazy as it might seem, a large portion of the personal care products sold in America contain ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. These toxins have nearly unpronounceable names and are hidden inside shampoos, lotions, make-up and other products we slather all over our bodies on a daily basis.
To help consumers become more informed about what they’re being exposed to, The California Safe Cosmetics Program (CSCP) has created an online cosmetics database that makes it simple to find out if your favorite lipstick is putting you at risk for a life threatening disease.
“Searches can be done on a type of product, a specific product name, or a brand, chemical or company name. About 475 companies have submitted information for about 30,000 products so far, and the chemicals in the database include phthalates, mercury and mercury compounds, toluene and formaldehyde, among other known toxicants,” reports SF Gate.
Creators of the cosmetics database point out that just because a product contains a potentially harmful ingredient, it’s not necessarily a risk. Manufacturers are required to report the presence of a chemical, even if it’s only trace amounts. Some chemicals are considered safe at certain levels of exposure. Although amount of ingredient is not listed on the website, it’s important to consider not just the levels of a single exposure, but cumulative exposure over a lifetime.
Encouragingly, the cosmetics database also contains information about about each of the chemical ingredients, and how chemical exposure can affects consumer health. Some health advocates say this website is an important tool for consumers that will continue the fight for safer cosmetics.
“The database reveals a snapshot of a Wild West industry where cosmetics companies can and are using a shocking array of unsafe and cancer-causing chemicals in seemingly innocent products,” Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which is part of the Breast Cancer Fund, told SF Gate. “It will also keep the pressure on companies to reformulate products to remove chemicals linked to adverse health effects.”
Learn more about what’s in your cosmetics and personal care products at: www.safecosmeticsact.org
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