Category: Product Dangers

Read This Before You Get That Brazilian Blowout

For Immediate Release: November 9th, 2010

Contact:

Erin Switalski, erins@womensvoices.org, 406-543-3747
Stacy Malkan, stacy@safecosmetics.org, 202-321-6963
Stephenie Hendricks, stephdh@earthlink.net, 415-258-9151

Toxic Brazilian Blowout Too Dangerous to Be Used in U.S., Experts Say

Leading public health advocates demand FDA recall hair products due to formaldehyde content

WASHINGTON—A coalition of leading public health and safety advocates issued strong demands to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today for the recall of two popular hair products, the Brazilian Blowout Solution and the Acai Professional Smoothing Solution (view full text here), due to dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in both products. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

Recent lab tests by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) found formaldehyde levels as high as 10.8 percent in the Brazilian Blowout Solution and 11.8 percent in the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, labeled “Formaldehyde Free.” Independent tests by Health Canada found that the products contained anywhere from 8.4 to 12 percent formaldehyde.

Canada has issued a public health warning and stopped distribution of the products, and Ireland has issued a recall. The FDA has taken no action to protect workers and consumers in the United States, where the manufacturer, Brazilian Blowout, is based. Read more….

as usual the FDA fails to protect us.

The Dangerous Chemical Lurking In Your Hand Soap

Liquid antibacterial soap on a person's hand.
Image via Wikipedia

From the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website:

The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises “valid concerns” about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in 76% of hand soaps.

Two years ago, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics supporters sent Walmart thousands of e-mails asking the retail giant to help stem the demand for products that contain triclosan, an antimicrobial chemical common in personal care products and cleaning products. (A 2001 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found triclosan in 76 percent of liquid soaps and 29 percent of bar soaps on the market).

Why should we be concerned with triclosan?

For one triclosan disrupts hormones, builds up in body fat and may interfere with other important hormonal and cell signals.

Triclosan is registered as a pesticide at the EPA, but it’s probably in your hand soap and might be in your toothpaste because cosmetics companies aren’t barred by the FDA from using ingredients linked to harm or that have never been assessed for adverse health effects.

And the kicker….

The Centers for Disease Control found no evidence that triclosan it is any more effective than regular soap and water at killing bacteria.

So why hasn’t it been pulled from the market? That’s exactly what Campaign for Safe Cosmetics supporters have been trying to do and who better to make a statement, than the retail giant Walmart. Two years ago thousands of these supporters sent emails to Walmart asking for their help and once again they are asking for the public’s support.

Help get this nasty, dangerous chemical away from our children and our environment and get it off the shelves. Ask your suppliers to stop selling triclosan.

Gina Solomon: “Antibacterial Soaps” Buyer Beware (Huffingtonpost.com)

Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know (FDA.GOV)

Intersex Frogs? Another Reason To Switch To Natural Beauty Products

I have to say that Dr. Oz always has amazing information about the dangerous chemicals lurking in our beauty products. In addition to showing us what works and what doesn’t, every so often he writes an article that is so important to the health of our families and environment that it can’t be ignored. One such article, Flushed Away, brings attention to the dangerous chemicals we are flushing down the toilet.

By now, most people are at least listening to warnings of environmental abuse and many of us have decided to do our part, eliminating as many household chemicals as possible, but did you know that toxins from our bodies are being flushed down the crapper through excretion and causing some weird repercussions in our environment such as intersex frogs? Of course you didn’t. All the more reason to switch to all natural beauty products and natural skin products. How do our beauty products come into this picture?

Phthalates found in body lotions, toys, floor coverings, detergent, soaps, nail polish, and shampoos. Phthalates mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to reproductive problems in rodents, such as lower testosterone and fetal malformation. To be safe as this chemical is not always listed, do not buy products with fragrance.

Parabens, preservatives found in shampoo, body lotions, makeup and skin care, mimic estrogen and some experts believe they are linked to breast cancer. Watch for all parabens including methyparaben, butylparaben, or propylparaben. Many companies are eliminating parabens as more and more studies bring to light the potential dangers, however their are thousands more that will not make the change because of a profit margin. Save your skin and help save the environment with all natural beauty products.

Read the shocking full article…..

Cosmetic Ingredients-More Proof Of Danger

skin care chemicalsYou may repeatedly hear that we are being way too paranoid about the absorption of cosmetic ingredients and skin care ingredients through skin. While I personally do not believe that using products laden with chemicals on occasion, can do harm, I certainly believe that they are absorbed through the skin and years of use along with the sheer amount of products used daily can cause harm to those who may be predisposed to certain skin sensitivities and cancers.

I am no doctor, this is my opinion. Yet it is so obvious, especially with the promotion of nicotine patches for one and the administering of medication though patches for another that skin care ingredients and cosmetic ingredients are most definately absorbed through skin. From the Ecovoice.com website:

Today, the administration of drugs and medicines is often through transdermal skin patches. This has been shown to be up to 95% more effective than oral medication. However, cosmetic manufacturers are not supposed to claim that the skin absorbs their products. If they did the products would be labeled a drug and governed by much stricter regulations.

This is both good and bad for us. Good because it means our skin can be fed, nourished and treated from the outside with some wonderful substances.

Bad because it means we can absorb commonly used cosmetic ingredients that would never be allowed to be taken orally as a food or drug, through our skin.

While I am a voice against chemicals in all personal care products, it is far more important for me to get the word out about so, so, many alternatives.

Why does the consumer continue to purchase products with dangerous cosmetic ingredients at local pharmacy and department stores when natural organic skin care is available everywhere?

Think You’re Buying Natural Skin Products? Think Again

flicker 3While poking around in my local pharmacy store recently, I found the following label on a very popular body lotion. The label boasts “incredibly soft skin with jojoba oil and vitamin E.” Sounds yummy. I would love to slather my body with jojoba oil! Sounds like natural skin care to me. Don’t be fooled. Here is the list of ingredients:

Water, myristyl alcohol, glycerin, mineral oil, butylenes glycol, alcohol denat, stearic acid, petrolatum, myristyl myristate, glyceryl stearate, hydrogenated coco-glycerides, dimethicone, simondsia chinensis seed oil (jojoba), tocopheryl  acetate, polygyceryl-2 caprate, Phenoxyethanol, lanolin alcohol, fragrance, sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, ethylparaban, proylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben.

What the heck?? There are three alcohols, five of the nasty parabens (which have the potential to cause cancer), and tocopheryl acetate which is a synthetic vitamin E and not the natural vitamin E. (more…)

Wallet Guide to Safe Nail Polish

safe nail polsihHere’s another handy dandy shopping card to keep with you, this one listing safe nail polish.

Over the last several years, scientists and researchers have found direct links to health related problems among nail salon workers and three chemical ingredients in nail polish. There is a reason that they wear those masks, so why don’t we?

The “toxic trio” that are of most concern are toluene, which can cause simple headaches and eye, ear, nose and throat irritation to nervous system disorders and damage to the liver and kidneys, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate which studies have linked to underdeveloped genitals and other reproductive system problems in newborn boys.

So why is DPT banned from cosmetics in Europe but not here in the U.S. even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found DBP and other toxic phthalates in the bloodstreams of every person they tested?

Even though most companies have agreed to remove these three dangerous ingredients, nail polish in general is laden with chemicals. It may be wiser to purchase safe nail polish at natural health and beauty supply stores. The following is a partial list of companies who offer chemical free nail products for purchase online:

Honeybee Gardens

Jerrie

Visage Naturel

Sante

Confused About Dangerous Cosmetic Chemicals? Get This Healthy Skin Care Guide

It’s important to choose better healthy skin care products free of chemical ingredients that harm your health and the environment. Unfortunately companies continue to use chemical ingredients regardless of potential risks as cosmetic products do not require verifiable, mandatory compliance (such as FDA approval) before they can be marketed.

shoppers guide to safe cosmeticsCosmetic companies are responsible for substantiating the safety of their own products and ingredients. Claims on packaging such as organic, natural, hypoallergenic, animal cruelty free, and fragrance free may mean nothing. (more…)