Toxic Body Care – What’s Hiding in your Soap?

The truth about personal care products

The following excerpts are from “The Environmental Working Group”. To learn more about personal care products, refer to www.ewg.org.

Most consumers would be surprised to learn that the government does not require health studies or pre-market testing for cosmetics and other personal care products before they are sold. According to the government agency that regulates cosmetics, the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA” (FDA 1995).

The toxicity of product ingredients is scrutinized almost exclusively by a self-policing industry safety committee, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel. Because testing is voluntary and controlled by the manufacturers, many ingredients in cosmetics products are not safety tested at all. Environmental Working Group’s analysis of industry and government sources shows that: Eighty-nine (89) percent of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, nor any other publicly accountable institution (FDA 2000, CIR 2003).

The absence of government oversight for this $35 billion industry leads to companies routinely marketing products with ingredients that are poorly studied, not studied at all, or worse, known to pose potentially serious health risks.

A few common toxic ingredients to watch for

Common toxic ingredients hiding in your bathroom are: sodium lauryl sulfate (sls), propylene glycol (also found in antifreeze), DEA, MEA and TEA, Polytethylene glycol, Triclosan (a synthetic anti-bacterial), Parabens, Mineral oil (a petroleum product), and much more.  To find out the ingredient warnings in your personal body care products, you can refer to this site: www.hazard.com/msds/

For Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, the MSDS lists the following hazards:

Health Hazards Acute and Chronic: ACUTE:CAUSES MILD IRRITATION ON CONTACT W/SKIN, EYES OR MUCOUS MEMBRANES. SKIN CONTACT COULD CAUSE IRRITATION OR ALLERGIC REACTION. MODERATELY TOXIC BY INGESTION. CHRONIC: TESTS ON LAB ANIMALS INDICATE MATERIAL MAY CAUSE MUTAGENIC EFFECTS (that means it can change the genetic material in your cells).

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of chemicals routinely found in our body care products. Do you really want these ingredients on and in you?