Minister of Conservation - Government of Manitoba: Implement comprehensive cosmetic pesticide ban

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Anita Kanitz
7 years ago
Most Americans use beauty products or cosmetics in form or another but few stop to consider what hidden dangers may lurk within those pretty glass bottles with the colorful advertising. Many cosmetic products are swimming with chemicals that have the potential to cause health problems ranging from allergies to cancer. In order to protect your health, it may be helpful to know which beauty products have the potential to be the most damaging:

Most dangerous cosmetics: Nail polish

Nail polishes may look harmless, but lurking within those beautiful colors is a toxic chemical known as DBP. This substance is a member of the phthalate family, a group of chemicals that have been scrutinized due to health concerns. Concern exists because DBP has been shown to cause birth defects in mice. This substance has already been banned in Europe and some of the cosmetic companies within the U.S. are taking steps to remove this potentially dangerous chemical. At the very least, use of nail polishes containing DBP should be avoided during pregnancy.

Most dangerous cosmetics: Sunscreens

You've heard the repeated warnings to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from U.V. light. While this may be sound advice from the perspective of skin health, use of sunscreens may not be so healthy for your cells. Several problems exist relating to the use of sunscreens. Most sunscreens contain chemicals such as PABA and benzophenones that are known to generate free radicals. As you may already know, free radicals have been shown to cause cellular DNA damage and potentially increase the risk of certain chronic diseases including cancer. In addition, some ingredients found in sunscreens have estrogen like effects on the body which can potentially increase the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, fertility problems in men, as well as contribute to a wide range of other health problems.

Most dangerous cosmetics: Body powders

Many body powders that are placed on the skin after bathing contain talcum powder. Talc is a substance that's similar in structure to asbestos which is a known human carcinogen. Past studies have shown that women who talcum powder in the genital area increase their risk of ovarian cancer by up to sixty percent. Talc can also be found in some feminine hygiene sprays, feminine napkins, and even facial pads and tissues. Talc has been shown to cause tumors in animals when inhaled.

Most dangerous cosmetics: Dark hair dyes

This has been an area of controversy with some studies showing an association of use of hair dyes with an increased cancer risk and others showing weak or no association. The most recent studies show that use of dark hair dyes, but not light ones, may increase their risk of developing a certain type of lymphoma. Nevertheless, dark hair dyes contain a variety of chemicals that are suspected carcinogens.

For some of these cosmetics and beauty products, you may be able to form more healthy alternatives. There are sunscreens on the market that use zinc oxide as the active ingredient which presents less of a health hazard than PABA. Henna may be a good alternative to hair dye. Be sure to read labels carefully and make sure you understand what you're putting on your skin. It could save your life.

Make-up and other cosmetic products are often made of complex combinations of chemicals. Ingredients for cosmetics, both synthetic and natural, come from a vast array of sources. Although these ingredients are regulated in many countries, there is no absolute guarantee that cosmetic products are safe. Their formulations may contain dangerous chemicals that went overlooked, and in some cases, products can become contaminated before they are sold to the public.

Compared to food products and medications, regulation of cosmetics is very limited. The FDA only regulates the use of color additives, with very little oversight of the wide array of other ingredients. Cosmetics companies are often only held responsible for marketing dangerous products when they have been shown to be in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. With the large number of new products released each season, violations usually only surface after they cause harm.

In response to consumer concern over the contents of cosmetic products, some cosmetics companies have produced lines of "all natural" or organic cosmetics. While there is no regulation of "natural" products, companies must meet strict guidelines before they can market products as organic. So-called "natural" cosmetics can still contain substances that are hazardous, given the number of naturally-occurring toxic substances.

With so little oversight of cosmetics in the United States, cosmetics producers are not under the same pressure as food and drug companies to ensure that their manufacturing facilities meet guidelines. Food and drug producers are regularly found to be in violation of FDA standards. It is not rare to hear of large-scale recalls of foods or drugs because of contamination, but there is no similar mechanism for cosmetics recalls. Dangerous products may only come to light after they have hurt a consumer.

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Mary C
7 years ago
Please watch shows "Healthy Living" on www.suprememastertv.com

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Patricia Clapa
8 years ago
We need to eliminate as many or all toxin from our environment for the Health & Safety of our Children and their Children.

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Geneive Delgado-Rock
8 years ago
To protect our health in manitoba!

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Sean Navarro
8 years ago
I want to protect the health of myself, my family and all Manitobans.

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Sarah Kok
8 years ago
To protect manitobians health.

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Claire Yildirim
8 years ago
For a safe environment for all Manitobans health !

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Linda Kirkwood
8 years ago
The health of our ecosystem should be the highest priority. When we contami our land and air, and water... we poison the future.

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Allan Fisher
8 years ago
I sign this on behalf of my family and pets.

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natashia meades
8 years ago
for health conserns in canada