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July 29, 2008
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We Elected Them. Now Ask Congress to Represent Us on Safe Cosmetics.

In recent months, we've shared with you information about the controversial ingredients in aftershave, anti-aging cream, shampoo, antibacterial soap, lotion and lipstick. Name any type of personal care product, and the same concerns pop: controversial ingredients - sometimes unlabeled - linked to cancer, infertility and other health effects, and ingredients that have never been tested for safety.

And it's perfectly legal.

The FDA is in charge of cosmetics, but it doesn't have the same regulatory authority over these products that it has over pharmaceuticals, medical devices and foods. Instead, the $50 billion cosmetics industry regulates itself through its industry-funded Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel. The cosmetics industry is one of the least-regulated industries in this country - and the cosmetics industry has been fighting to keep it that way.

It's time for serious change.

Right now, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee is drafting a bill that would overhaul food, drug and cosmetic safety, but the current cosmetics provision isn't as strong as it should be.

We need your help reaching the committee chairman, U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), and the subcommittee members! Sign our online petition telling them that you support strong health and safety standards for cosmetics. It shouldn't be left up to consumers or the cosmetics industry to figure out what's safe and what's not.

Sign the petition to Congress  

lipstick bullet Environmental Working Group, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, just released a consumer guide for avoiding triclosan, an ingredient common in liquid hand soap, toothpaste and other cosmetics and consumer products. Triclosan is a hormone disruptor that can end up in breast milk and poses potential danger to fetal and childhood development. A recent Campaign for Safe Cosmetics action alert targeted triclosan, which isn't any better than plain soap and water at preventing the spread of infections.

lipstick bullet Check out the growing list of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a commitment to make personal care products free of carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins. You can also use Skin Deep to find safer alternatives.

My favorite choice for safe products is here


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