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In a Nutshell Toxic chemicals are common ingredients in the products most of us use on our bodies every day Most people assume the government is doing more to protect us from these hidden hazards

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In a Nutshell

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in a nutshell
In a Nutshell
  • Toxic chemicals are common ingredients in the products most of us use on our bodies every day
  • Most people assume the government is doing more to protect us from these hidden hazards
  • It doesn’t have to be this way! Working together, we can take direct action to bring about a healthier tomorrow
In the past two decades, an expanding body of evidence has made strong links between low doses of environmental toxins and cancer, reproductive illnesses, declining sperm counts, developmental disorders, and other serious health problems.
And, yet untested chemicals and chemicals known or suspected of causing harm are very common in consumer products
  • Baby bottles and toys
  • Furniture
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
take a moment
Take a moment…

Think about how many cosmetics you use in an average day

a daily chemical cocktail
A Daily Chemical Cocktail

Average number of personal care products DAILY:

  • US women – 12
  • US men -- 6

The average adult in this

country is exposed to

126 unique chemical

ingredients DAILY in

personal care products alone.

untested chemicals
Untested Chemicals

Of the 10,500 chemical ingredients used in personal care products,

just 11 percent have been safety assessed.


US Laws Don't Protect Us

  • FDA does not have the same authority to regulate cosmetics as they do drugs
  • Perfectly legal: largely unlimited amounts of chemicals in products
  • No required testing, no monitoring of health effects, poor product labeling….
no one is minding the store
No one is minding the store…

The cosmetics industry will tell you that they are manufacturing safe products, and that the industry funded Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel is all the oversight they need.

The head of the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances Association is John Bailey, the former head of FDA

the industry says
The Industry says…
  • L’Oreal: “Each and every ingredient used in our products has been thoroughly reviewed and tested by our internal safety team….”
  • Estee Lauder: “….in full compliance with FDA regulations…”
  • CTFA: “….it is impossible to live in a lead-free world…however, the amount expected from the use of lipstick would be very small….”

Change of incidence of breast cancer over time:


1 in 20


1 in 9


1 in 8


1 in 7

a few example phthalates pronounced thal ates
A Few Example: Phthalates(pronounced: THAL-ates)
  • Recent studies suggest that phthalatesalter the reproductive organs of baby boys
  • Phthalates have also been linked to cancer
  • Phthalates are not usually listed on product labels

(Source: Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, May 2005).

cosmetics and phthalates
Tests by an independent laboratory found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of the products tested, including:

all 17 fragrances

9 out of 14 deodorants

6 out of 7 hair gels

4 out of 7 mousses

14 out of 18 hair sprays

2 out of 9 hand and body lotions

(Source: Not Too Pretty Report 2002)

Cosmetics and Phthalates
a poison kiss the problem of lead in lipstick
A Poison Kiss: The Problem of Lead in Lipstick
  • More than half of 33 top-brand lipsticks tested (61%) contained detectable levels of lead
  • 39% did not: so we know lipstick can be made without lead
cumulative effects
Cumulative Effects
  • Repeatedly exposed to industrial chemicals
  • Many different sources on a daily basis
  • Including cosmetics and personal care products
environmental racism and cosmetic toxicants
Environmental Racism and Cosmetic Toxicants
  • Hair relaxers:sometimes contain placenta (linked with early puberty in children, toddlers)
  • Skin lighteners: often contain hydroquinone, other high hazard ingredients
  • Women’s Voices for the Earth report: many nail salon workers simply quit their jobs when they become pregnant, to avoid health risks to the baby
body burden the pollution in newborns
Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns
  • July 2005 study shows chemical exposure begins in the womb--passing from mother to baby.
  • Testing of newborn babies’ umbilical cord blood revealed an average of 200 chemicals, including pesticides and industrial pollutants, all while still in the womb. (
  • A 2007 biomonitoring study (at found all 33 participants had phthalates in their bodies
Solution:Safer products and smarter laws to protect our health, the health of future generations, and the health of the environment
uniting for change
Uniting for Change!

Our goal: to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring that the body care products industry phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health harms and replace them with safer alternatives.

our ask
Our Ask

We’re asking all cosmetics companies to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a meaningful pledge to phase our toxic chemicals and use safer alternatives.

We’re also fighting for smarter laws to protect our health from toxic chemicals.

compact for safe cosmetics
Compact for Safe Cosmetics

1. Meet new EU Standards banning chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects globally.

compact for safe cosmetics25
Compact for Safe Cosmetics

2. Inventory ingredients to determine:

  • toxicity to living things
  • their persistence in the environment
  • their ability to increase in concentration in the food chain,
  • their contamination of our bodies,
  • or qualities they possess that pose hazards. 
the campaign for safe cosmetics has had a great start
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has had a great start….
  • Several major nail product manufactures have agreed to remove three of the nastiest chemicals from their nail polishes
  • The Skin Deep database is the largest consumer database in the world
  • Over 1,000 companies have

signed the Compact for Safe


take action today for safer products and smarter laws
Take Action Today for Safer Products and Smarter Laws!

Visit us

Demand that companies remove chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects from products we use on our bodies NOW.

Urge our elected officials to empower the FDA so that products are safe before they hit the market!

take action
  • We need your help to motivate cosmetics companies to make safer products and to push for smarter laws to protect our health and our families from toxic chemicals!
  • Every month the Campaign highlights one excellent opportunity for action.
questions ideas contact us
Questions? Ideas?CONTACT US!

Check out the website, or for more info:

Cindy Luppi

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

617.338.8131 ext 208