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Revlon Under Fire for Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Make-Up
The two groups, in partnership with the online women’s group UltraViolet, are demanding the cosmetics manufacturer stop using cancer-causing chemicals and other dangerous substances in its products.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
The survey says that Revlon cosmetics contain:
- Butylated compounds (BHA, BHT): Found in hair dyes and lip glosses—linked to cancer
- Quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals: Found in mascaras, pressed powders and eyeliners—linked to cancer
- Parabens: Found in eyeliners and hair dyes—an endocrine disruptor linked to cancer
- Octinoxate: Found in foundation makeup—an endocrine disruptor linked to thyroid disorders
- Resorcinol:Found in hair dyes—an endocrine disruptor and allergen
- p-Phenylenediamine: Found in hair dyes—a respiratory toxicant
- Carbon black: Found in eyeliners—linked to cancer
The groups want Revlon to:
- Develop a comprehensive safe cosmetics policy to protect women from chemicals linked to cancer and other adverse health effects.
- Post the product safety policy on the company’s website.
- Support federal cosmetics safety legislation.
The groups plan a full campaign against Revlon to include calls, online pressure, advertisements and in-person events.
“The most significant thing Revlon can do to prevent women’s cancers is to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from its cosmetics, which are used by millions of women and girls every day,” said Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy for the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
"Revlon is putting cancer-causing chemicals in makeup and that is shameful,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “If soaring rates of cancer in young women aren't enough to make Revlon change its mind about lacing their products with toxic chemicals, hopefully outrage from their consumers will be. We demand Revlon take a stand against cancer and drop these chemicals from their products immediately.”
The groups say federal law governing the use and disclosure of cosmetics ingredients—which was adopted more than 75 years ago—is outdated and weak, leaving decisions about toxic chemicals in makeup to the industry. Under current law, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot require cosmetics companies to conduct safety assessments or pre-market testing, and cannot require product recalls.
The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013, introduced in the House of Representatives by Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and now-Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) would revamp the law and give the FDA the authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients. Until then, consumer groups involved in the campaign say they intend to continue to pressure Revlon to protect women immediately by voluntarily removing toxic chemicals.
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Former Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will have to testify in person at a St. Louis-area trial set for January in litigation brought by a cancer-stricken woman who claims her disease was caused by exposure to the company's Roundup herbicide and that Monsanto covered up the risks instead of warning consumers.
A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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