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SoCos Myth v Fact

SoCos Myth v Fact

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Page 1
storyofcosmetics.org
The Story of Cosmetics:Personal Care Product Myths and Facts 
Myth:
I products are or sale at a supermarket, drugstore, or department store cosmeticscounter, they must be sae.
Fact:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companiesto assess ingredients or products or saety. FDA does not review or approve the vastmajority o cosmetic products or ingredients beore they go on the market. The agencyconducts pre-market reviews only or certain color additives and active ingredients incosmetics classied as over-the-counter drugs.
1,2
 
Myth:
The cosmetics industry eectively polices itsel, making sure all ingredients meeta strict standard o saety.
Fact:
In its more than 30-year history, the industry’ssaety panel (the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, or CIR)has assessed ewer than 20 percent o cosmeticsingredients and ound only a handul o ingredients orchemical groups to be unsae.
3,4
 
Its recommendationsare not binding on companies.
5
Myth:
The government prohibits dangerous chemicals in personal care products, andcompanies wouldn’t risk using them.
Fact:
Cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material, except or coloradditives and a ew prohibited substances (such as vinyl chloride and cow parts), withoutgovernment review or approval.
1,6 
•Morethan500productssoldintheU.S.containingredientsbannedincosmeticsinJapan,CanadaortheEuropeanUnion.
7 
 
•Nearly100productscontainingredientsconsideredunsafebytheInternationalFragrance
Association.
8 
•Awiderangeofnanomaterialswhosesafetyisinquestionmaybecommoninpersonalcare
products.
9
•22%ofallpersonalcareproductsmaybecontaminatedwiththecancer-causingimpurity
1,4-dioxane, including many children’s products.
10,11
•60%ofsunscreenscontainthepotentialhormonedisruptoroxybenzonethatreadilypenetratestheskinandcontaminatesthebodiesof97%ofAmericans.
12,13 
•61%oftestedlipstickbrandscontainresiduesoflead.
14
Myth:
Cosmetic ingredients are applied to the skin and rarely get into the body.  Whenthey do, levels are too low to matter.
Fact:
People are exposed by breathing in sprays and powders, swallowing chemicals
 
Page 2
www.storyofcosmetics.org
THE STORY OF COSMETICS
onthelipsorhandsorabsorbingthemthroughtheskin.Studiesndevidenceof
health risks. Biomonitoring studies have ound cosmetics ingredients – like phthalate
plasticizers,parabenpreservatives,thepesticidetriclosan,syntheticmusks,and
sunscreens – inside the bodily fuids o men, women, children and even the cord bloodo newborn babies.
15–22
Manyofthesechemicalsarepotentialhormonedisruptorsthat
may increase cancer risk.
23–26
Products commonly contain penetration enhancers to
driveingredientsdeeperintotheskin.Studiesndhealthproblemsinpeopleexposed
to common ragrance and sunscreen ingredients, including elevated risk or sperm
damage,feminizationofthemalereproductivesystem,andlowbirthweightingirls.
27-30
Myth:
Products made or children or bearing claims like “hypoallergenic” are saerchoices.
Fact:
Mostcosmeticmarketingclaimsareunregulated,andcompaniesarerarelyif
ever required to back them up, even or children’s products. A company can use aclaim like “hypoallergenic” or “natural” “to mean anything or nothing at all,” and while“[m]ost o the terms have considerable market value in promoting cosmetic productsto consumers,… dermatologists say they have very little medical meaning.”
31
Aninvestigation o more than 1,700 children’s body care products ound that 81 percento those marked “gentle” or “hypoallergenic” contained allergens or skin and eyeirritants.
32
 
Myth:
FDA would promptly recall any product that injures people.
Fact:
FDA has no authority to require recalls o harmul cosmetics.
1
Furthermore,manuacturers are not required to report cosmetics-related injuries to the agency. FDArelies on companies to report injuries voluntarily.
1
Myth:
Consumerscanreadingredientlabelsandavoidproductswithhazardous
chemicals.
Fact:
Federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals o labels, includingnanomaterials, contaminants, and components o ragrance.
25
Fragrance may includeany o 3,163 dierent chemicals,
33
none o which are required to be listed on labels.Fragrance tests reveal an average o 14 hidden compounds per ormulation, includingpotential hormone disruptors and diethyl phthalate, a compound linked to spermdamage.
34
 
Myth:
Cosmetics saety is a concern or women only.
Fact:
Surveysshowthatonaverage,womenuse12productscontaining168ingredients
every day, men use 6 products with 85 ingredients,
35
and children are exposed to anaverage o 61 ingredients daily.
24
The large majority o these chemicals have not beenassessed or saety by the industry-unded CIR saety panel.
3,4
 
Page 3
www.storyofcosmetics.org
THE STORY OF COSMETICS
Authors:
JasonRano,LegislativeAnalystJaneHoulihan,SeniorVicePresidentforResearch,EnvironmentalWorkingGroup,
Washington DC.
Press Contacts:
StacyMalkan,CampaignforSafeCosmetics,202-321-6963,stacy@safecosmetics.org;AlexFormuzis,EnvironmentalWorkingGroup,202-667-6982,alex@ewg.org
1.
FDA(U.S.FoodandDrugAdministration).2005.FDAauthorityovercosmetics.http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html.
2.
FDA(U.S.FoodandDrugAdministration).2010.Regulationofnon-prescriptionproducts.http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html.
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5.
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6.
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7.
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8.
EWG(EnvironmentalWorkingGroup).2007c.CosmeticsWithBannedandUnsafeIngredients.Table2–Unsafeforuseincosmetics,accordingtoindustry.AccessedJune21,2010.http://www.ewg.org/node/22636.
9.
EWG(EnvironmentalWorkingGroup).2006.EWGCommentstoFDAonNano-ScaleIngredientsinCosmetics.Docket:FDARegulatedProductsContainingNanotechnologyMaterials.Docketnumber:2006N-0107.http://www.ewg.org/node/21738.
10.
EWG(EnvironmentalWorkingGroup).2007d.EWGresearchshows22percentofcosmeticsmaybecontaminatedwithcancer-causingimpurity.http://www.ewg.org/node/21286.•
11.
CSC(TheCampaignforSafeCosmetics).2009.Nomoretoxictub.http://www.safecosmetics.org/downloads/NoMoreToxicTub_Mar09Report.
pd.12.
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