The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrances

Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrances

notsexyThe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics would like to thank the following people for their review of sections of this report: Janet Gray, PhD, Vassar College; Russ Hauser, MD, ScD, MPH, Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology Harvard Medical School; Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science and Environmental Health Network; and Anne C. Steinemann, PhD, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor of Public Affairs, University of Washington. Any errors or omissions in this report are the responsibility of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Support for this project was provided by The As You Sow Foundation, The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Fund, Johnson Family Foundation and The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. Canadian product testing funding provided by Environmental Defence Canada.

A rose may be a rose. But that rose-like fragrance in your perfume may be something else entirely, concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer.

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perfume_toxic318810The goal of this investigation was to quantify the use of two groups of chemicals – phthalates and synthetic musks – in a random selection of perfume brands. Greenpeace commissioned a laboratory to test 36 brands of eau de toilette and eau de parfum for levels of the two chemical groups. The results confirm that some synthetic musks, most notably the polycyclic musks galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN), and some phthalates, especially diethyl phthalate (DEP), are widely used by the perfume industry. This suggests that regular use of perfumes could substantially contribute to individuals’ daily exposure to these chemicals, some of which have already been recorded as contaminants in blood and breast milk. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence of potential endocrine-disrupting properties for certain musk compounds. In this context, these results reinforce the need for legislation that will drive the replacement of hazardous substances with safer alternatives. The current development of new EU legislation on the manufacture and use of chemicals, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), provides the opportunity to set out requirements for such substitution as a vital contribution to protecting the public from exposure to hazardous chemicals.

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36 Perfumes carry ‘scent of Death

Greenpeace raises a stink over ‘dangerous’ perfumes

5504926”When you bought a gift for a loved one you didn’t expect that it would come with a dose of harmful chemicals. But by buying certain perfumes for Valentine’s day that’s exactly what you got,” said a spokesman for Greenpeace, the environmental group, last week.

The next time your boyfriend or girlfriend gives you perfume as a Valentine gift, think twice—he or she might be giving you a scent of “death.”

The environmental group Greenpeace said Monday that at least 36 well-known perfume brands contain chemicals that are hazardous to health and the environment.

At a press briefing at the Chicken Bacolod Restaurant in Quezon City, Francis de la Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia toxics campaigner, said that phthalate esters and synthetic musks—two toxic man-made chemicals—are contained in several perfumes.

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400 Dangerous Lipsticks

Toxic_LipstickA new report lists over 400 popular shades of lipstick shown to contain higher than the average amount of lead, when examined by the U.S. government. While the FDA doesn’t mean to cause panic in your makeup bag, it’s pretty surprising to see some of the shades listed, I’ve owned a few of them in my lifetime—have you?

The latest findings are in response to inquiries made to the Food and Drug Administration, but none of them have been shown to contain a dangerous amount of lead, according to the FDA. Which is good news—since that favorite lipstick of yours is still considered safe to use, as these are reported to be trace levels according to the latest report.

All the FM GROUP products, based on herbal ingredients!

The lipstick brands that contain higher than the average amount of lead are:

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20 toxic ingredients to avoid

20 toxic ingredients to avoid when buying body care products and cosmetics.

systatika_kallyntikwnLabels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products. A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Regardless, 30 percent still leaves a lot of room for toxins.

The whole industry has a “innocent-till-proven-guilty” approach to ingredients. Unless a chemical used in beauty products is proven to cause harm to human health, it is classified as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” This classification is upheld by the U.S. FDA and hardly has the best interests of consumers at heart.

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