Friday, October 12, 2007

Personal Care Product Precautions

Recently, the discovery of lead in children's toys has been the cause of several recalls. It turns out; the toy shelf is not the only place in your home that may contain toxins. Consumers may now have to worry about what is in their bathroom cabinets! Everyday personal care products, like toothpaste, deodorant, and make-up contain lead and other harmful chemicals.

Boston's WCVB did a story on lipstick that contains lead. They sited a study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The campaign tested 33 brands of lipstick, and found that one third of them contained lead amounts that exceeded the federal limit. The FDA does not regulate what goes into personal care products, nor do they have required testing in place. Over the years people are exposed to toxins from an innumerable amount of these products as well as other outside sources. The accumulation of toxins in the body is what can do harm.

Toxins found in these products can cause a wide range of problems, such as cancer, developmental problems, or infertility. Health Care Without Harm reported that phthalates, an ingredient that gives flexibility and a moisturizing quality to personal care products, can sometimes exceed 200 gm/kg or 20%. It has been found that when phthalates accumulate in a person’s body, they can cause harm. For instance, The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester, found that phthalates could be linked to feminization in boys.

If you are interested in finding out what chemicals are in your personal care products, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has a cosmetic safety database, Skin Deep. The database gives personal care products' safety ratings and alerts consumers to the specific dangers of each item.


Ashley Kalena said...

The topic you chose is very interesting and alarming. It made me want to look through all my beauty products right away.

You started the story very conversationally, which is good because the story contains a lot of jargon. That jargon however is well-defined. I didn't have to wait for the definition of phthalates because it came up right away.

Also my next question was also answered right away: how can this harm you?

There was a lot of interesting information in here. I think your links worked well. For the Skin Deep website though, maybe you should have linked to the main page and not the page that asks you to sign up first. I really think the cosmetics database website is very useful and I am going to keep it for my own that was a good find.

Your picture, however, didn't load on the page. Overall: a very interesting topic.

Sujata Khandelwal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sujata Khandelwal said...

As a woman who wears some type of lipstick or lipgloss everyday, I was very interested in reading your blog. I admit I was a little worried about the damage I may have already done to my skin.

Your blog is easy to understand and rich in information. I read the original article and I was surprised to find the brands which contain high levels of lead.

Fortunately, I do not use those particular brands or shades, but I know several people who do.