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C A N C E R. …Personal care products. Cancer Prevention Coalition 5/03. 1. Cancer Prevention Coalition. Why are Personal Care Products Potentially Harmful?.

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…Personal care products

  • Cancer Prevention Coalition 5/03


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Why are Personal Care Products Potentially Harmful?

Many formulations contain harmful ingredients that have extremely small molecules. These molecules penetrate the skin and the blood system and quickly build up in the organs and tissues.


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Senator Kennedy


Concerns were expressed by Senator Kennedy at hearings on the 1997 FDA cosmetics reform bill. "Our message is that cosmetics can be dangerous to your health. --The American people have a right to full and fair information about the actual and potential dangers of the products they use every day."


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Toxic Ingredients

Why are toxins & carcinogens not disclosed on personal care product labels?

“Ingredients of cosmetics and personal care products (CPCP) are generally identified on their labels by a long list of chemicals. However, this is meaningless to the overwhelming majority of consumers, let alone to expert toxicologists and cancer prevention professionals. This critically necessitates a “Red Flag” warning of the wide range of multiple carcinogenic ingredients, contaminants and precursors in most mainstream industry products.”


* Dr. Samuel Epstein, Page 17 Unreasonable Risk

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Cosmetic Ingredient Review

Compendium 2000

* Based on review of 917 ingredients


Pg 46 Unreasonable Risk

  • Cancer Prevention Coalition

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Personal Care Products

…Used daily by Men

• Gel/Mousse/Pomade• Hand Soap• Mouthwash• Shampoo• Toothpaste

• Body Lotion • Body Wash• Conditioner• Deodorant• Hair Spray

(about 10 daily)

* Page 26 Unreasonable Risk


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Infants & Children

…Personal care products Used daily

• Hand Soap• Shampoo• Toothpaste

(about 3 daily)


Pg 26 Unreasonable Risk

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Personal Care Products

…Used daily by women

  • Body Lotion

  • Body Wash

  • Shampoo & Conditioner

  • Deodorant

  • Face & Hand Lotion

  • Face Soap

  • Hair Gel/Mousse/Pomade

  • Hair Spray

  • Hand Soap

  • Mouthwash

  • Toothpaste

(about 13 daily)


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Cosmetic Products

…Used daily by women

  • Blush

  • Eye Shadow

  • Face Powder

  • Foundation

  • Lipstick

  • Mascara

(about 6 daily)


Pg 26 Unreasonable Risk

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Source of Eviden

  • 78 IARC seen monographs since 1972

  • 500 National institutes of Health Technical Report Series on individual carcinogens

Pg 28 Unreasonable Risk


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Cancer Risks of Smoking Tobacco Products Compared to Mainstream Industry Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

* Page 129 Unreasonable Risk

  • Cancer Prevention Coalition


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In September 10, 1997 hearings on the FDA reform bill (HR 1411), Senator Edward M. Kennedy stated: "The cosmetic industry has borrowed a page from the playbook of the tobacco industry by putting profits ahead of public health."



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With rare exceptions, such as children’s bubble baths, the FDA has never required industry to label PCC products with any warning of well-documented toxic or cancer risks, nor has it banned the sale of unsafe products to an unsuspecting public.”


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The Dirty Dozen


Beef Frankfurters – (e.g. Oscar Meyer Foods Corporation

Whole Milk – (e.g. Borden or Lucerne)

Household Products

Ajax Cleanser – Colgate – Polmolive, Inc.

Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser – Reckitt & Colman, Inc.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray – Reckitt & Coleman, Inc.

Zodiac Cat & Dog Flea Collar – Sandoz Agro, Inc.

Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer – Monsanto Co.


* Page 18 & 19 Unreasonable Risk

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The Dirty Dozen Cont.

Cosmetics & Toiletries

Talcum Powder – Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

Cover Girl Replenishing Natural Finish Make-up (Foundation) – Proctor & Gamble, Inc.

Crest Tarter Control Toothpaste – Proctor & Gamble, Inc.

Alberto VO5 Conditioner (Essence of Neutral Henna) – Alberto-Culver USA, Inc.

Clairol Nice n’ Easy (Permanent Haircolor) – Clairol, Inc.

* Presented by the Cancer Prevention Coalition at a September 21, 1995 Washington, D.C. press conference, co-sponsored by Ralph Nader, launching publication of The Safe Shopper’s Bible (Appendix 2C)


* Page 18 & 19 Unreasonable Risk

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Talc: Women, in the IR reproductive years, regularly dusting their genital area with Talc after bathing or showering are at approximately 3-fold increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Permanent hair color: Women using permanent or semi-permanent black or dark brown hair dyes are at increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, chronic leukemia, and also breast cancer. In fact, there is growing evidence that use of these hair dyes accounts for about 20% of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas in U.S. women.


Pg 19 & 20 Unreasonable Risk

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Frank – those ingredients that are carcinogenic themselves.

Hidden – not carcinogenic themselves , but under certain conditions may have carcinogenic properties

* Page 29 – 30 Unreasonable Risk


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Beef Frankfurters: Children eating up to about a dozen each month are at approximately 4-fold increased risk of brain cancer & 7-fold increased risk of Leukemia. (This is due to the formation of a nitrosamine carcinogen, by the interaction of nitrite, used in colorant, and natural amines in meat).


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OSHA analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products and found 884 of them to be toxic.

  • 778 can cause acute toxicity

  • 218 can cause reproductive complications

  • 314 can cause biological mutations

  • 146 can cause tumors

  • 376 can cause skin and eye irritations


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“Concerns on the cancer risks from PCC products are emphasized by: lifelong use of multiple products by the majority of the U.S. population; the ready skin absorption of carcinogenic ingredients, further increased by detergents, especially when left on the skin for prolonged periods: and by decades-long suppression of information by the FDA and industry, abetted by a roll-over media, in flagrant denial of consumers’ right to know. Mainstream industry products thus pose major risks of avoidable cancer.”

* Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., undisclosed Carcinogens in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products pose avoidable risks of Cancer warns Samuel Epstein, MD, 1/15/01 PRNewswire

* Unreasonable Risk


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Medical Mainstream Industry Cosmetics and Personal Care Products


  • Cancer Prevention Coalition

  • Oral Contraceptives

  • Estrogen replacement therapy (high doses & prolonged use)

  • Premenopausal mammography

  • Non-hormonal prescription drugs (anti-hypertensives & tranquilizers)

  • Silicone gel breast implants (polyyurethane foam)



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“So for all these reasons, it must be emphasized that cosmetics & personal care products are one of the most important, if not the single most important, causes of avoidable and involuntary lifelong exposure to multiple carcinogens.”

* Page 129 Unreasonable Risk


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Personal care products produced for beauty without concern for the long term effect on the user need to beeliminated!

Take action now by eliminating them from your use and replace them with safe products.


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Reverse The Epidemic Mainstream Industry Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Take Action

Join the CPC

Educate yourself

Be aware of local issues/work place

Reward/Patronize responsible parties


  • Cancer Prevention Coalition 3/03

Visit www.scorecard.org

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Cancer Prevention Coalition Mainstream Industry Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Cancer Prevention Coalition  c/o University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health 2121 West Taylor Street, MC 922 Chicago, IL 60612 Phone: (312) 996-2297 Email:epstein@uic.edu



  • Cancer Prevention Coalition 3/03