Cosmetic Safety
                      
                                                   
 
        Consumer Safety          References


Background
                        
Over the years the cosmetics industry has grown into an extremely lucrative business. Each year hundreds of new cosmetics are put into commerce promising to improve one's physical appearance. However many cosmetics contain ingredients that do more than just enhance one's beauty. Numerous cosmetics currently out on the market have been found to contain chemicals that can be toxic to human health and development. (Back to Top)


Chemicals Of Concern

 Chemical
Description
Where it is Found
Link
 Lead
Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can have significant impact on areas of human development such as learning, language, reduced IQ and behavioral problems
Lead is most commonly found in cosmetics such as lip stick, some mascaras and eye shadows.
http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=225
Phthalates
Phthalates have been identified as a known endocrine disruptor  causing problems such as sterility, reduced perm count, malformations of the genitals along with other adverse health effects.
Phthalates are found in anything with fragrance such as perfume or lotion. They are also found in products such as nail polish.


http://safecosmetics.org/articles.php?id=290
Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde has been identified as a known animal carcinogen and a suspected human carcinogen. It also causes irritation of the nose, throat , eyes and skin
Formaldehyde is most commonly found in cosmetics and bath products as a contaminant. When preservative used to prevent bacterial growth break down over time, formaldehyde is released.
http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=221
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How Do These Chemicals Get Into Cosmetics?


There are numerous routes that toxic chemicals such as Lead make their way into cosmetic products.

Lead
Lead makes its way into cosmetic via two routes:
1. Raw materials used in  production of cosmetics
2.  Pigmentation used to tint the cosmetic the desired color


Phthalates

Phthalates are added to plastics to make them more soft and pliable, they are used in products that contain fragrance to help the fragrance last longer when used. They are also added to products such as nail polish as an adhesive agent to help the product stick to the nails.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is commonly found in water-based personal care products and cosmetics as a contaminate. Formaldehyde contamination results when preservatives such as Quaternium - 15 break down over time. The preservatives are commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria.
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Consumer Safety

The best way to ensure that you are getting a product that is safe and does not contain toxic chemicals is to research and read the labels of the products. There are a number of sources that provide information on cosmetics , the chemicals they contain and the effects these chemical can have on the body. Many of these sources also provide listings of safe and mild cosmetics as well as ranking cosmetics in terms of the hazard they may pose. Below are the most reliable sources for consumer safety and cosmetics.
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Campaign for Safer Cosmetics
http://safercosmetics.org/index.php

Skin Deep: Cosmetics Database
http://www.cosmeticsdatabases.com/


For more information/References:

Campaign for Safer Cosmetics

http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?list=type&type=33

Campaign for Safer Cosmetics: Lead

http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?list=type&type=33

Skin Deep: Cosmetics Database

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

Campaign for Safer Cosmetics : Phthalates

 http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=290

Phthalates

http://www.phthalates.com/index.asp?page=4

Formaldehyde :EWG

.http://www.ewg.org/node/21286

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Last Updated: May 2010

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