Given the long list of chemicals that go into our daily personal care products— everything from shampoo to eyeshadow— it is both alarming and puzzling that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has absolutely no oversight of the cosmetics industry. We just let the companies police themselves.
Lisa Archer, national coordinator for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said that her group did its own independent testing of personal care products and found everything from formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) in children's bath products to hormone disrupters in perfume. An investigation done last May by the Chicago Tribune that found high levels of mercury in skin-lightening creams, despite the fact that the toxic metal is supposedly banned from such use.
The Safe Cosmetics Act will go a long way in eliminating these dangers. First, it will begin to phase out any ingredient associated with cancer and/or birth defects, establish safety standards for all ingredients, and require an ingredients list on cosmetic packaging. It will also make sure that workers in the cosmetic industry are made aware of any potentially hazardous chemicals they may encounter on the job.
Tell your Representative to support the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.