"We are grateful to Governor Brown for signing this bill," California state director for the Humane Society of the United States Crystal Moreland said in a press release. "I am proud that California is the first state in the nation to take a stand against cruel cosmetic animal testing."
The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which was written by Democratic state Senator Cathleen Galgiani, passed the state legislature earlier in September, The Hill reported. It stipulates that manufacturers cannot "import for profit, sell or offer for sale" any cosmetics tested on animals once the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Violations will be punished with a fine of $5,000, followed by a fine of $1,000 per day every day the violation continues, the Huffington Post reported.
It is the first law of its kind in the U.S., though similar laws have been passed in the EU, India, Israel and Norway. A national law introduced to Congress last year has not yet been passed, though animal advocates hope California's law might change that.
"We're hopeful this law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act," program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States Vicki Katrinak told the Huffington Post.
The law does allow for some exceptions. Any testing required by federal law can go ahead if there are no alternatives. In addition, companies can pay for animal testing for products and ingredients if it is required by law for sale in foreign markets. It can also sell those same products in California as long as the testing wasn't specifically to determine the safety of the products sold in the state.
China, for example, requires all imported cosmetics be tested on animals, but Katrinak said she hoped the new law would encourage companies to put pressure on countries like China that require testing, since they won't want to pay for two separate tests for markets that require and prohibit animal testing.
"It gives greater impetus for [the cosmetics] industry to push for changes in other countries," Katrinak told the Huffington Post.
Rats, mice, guinea pigs and rabbits are the animals most often used for cosmetic testing. They are used to test whether ingredients will irritate eyes or skin and are sometimes forced to eat or breathe toxic substances. They are often killed after testing.
The Humane Society said such testing is unnecessary, as thousands of products have a history of safe use and there are other ways to assess the safety of ingredients that do not rely on animal testing and are more relevant to human health.
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Wants to End #EPA’s Cruel Animal Testing https://t.co/2ZdesQ1TbR @peta @AnimalPlanet— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1534878021.0
By Scott Faber
A rash of product recalls, government warning notices and contaminated cosmetics may finally push Congress to give our broken cosmetics law a makeover.
This month, a key Senate committee announced a bipartisan plan to consider cosmetics reform legislation this spring and work for its passage by the full Senate this year.
Since 2015, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have been relentlessly pushing their colleagues to take up their bill to give the Food and Drug Administration the power to review the most dangerous chemicals in cosmetics. Their bill has broad support from cosmetics companies of all sizes and public health groups.
Recent events have lent new urgency to the need for reform. Key issues include:
- Asbestos in kids' products. Experts have found asbestos in cosmetics marketed to kids by Justice and Claire's.
- Burned scalps. A class-action lawsuit was recently settled by a company making hair relaxers that have been linked to burned scalps.
- Hair loss. Thousands of women and girls lost some or all of their hair after using a shampoo sold by a celebrity hair stylist.
- Mercury poisoning. A skin whitening cream was recently the subject of an import alert after the FDA detected mercury in the product.
- Unsafe hair spray. The FDA also found an imported hair spray that contained methylene chloride, one of the few chemicals currently banned from cosmetics.
- Contaminated cosmetics. The FDA continues to find cosmetics contaminated with bacteria, including a body wash, face powders, shadows and lotions.
- Eye shadow with coal tar. The FDA recently found imported eye shadows containing coal tar chemicals—including this product and this product.
- Eyeliners with lead. The FDA continues to intercept eyeliners containing an ingredient called kohl, which can contain significant lead levels.
- Unsafe colors. Many cosmetic products contain banned color chemicals, including shampoos, cleaners, temporary tattoos, and "Piggy Poop" soap.
Last year, The New York Times reported that contaminants such as mercury, lead, bacteria and other banned ingredients were showing up in an alarming number of imported personal care products.
The Times story was based on an FDA letter that revealed imports of personal care products have doubled in the last decade and imports from China have increased 79 percent in the last five years.
In 2016, 15 percent of imported personal care products inspected had "adverse findings" and 20 percent of products the FDA tested in its own labs had adverse findings.
In addition to requiring FDA review of the most dangerous chemicals in cosmetics, the Feinstein-Collins bill also requires companies to ensure that products are produced in ways that reduce the risk of contamination. If contaminated products pose serious risks to consumers, companies would be required to alert the FDA within 15 days.
Whether Congress will pass new cosmetics legislation this year remains to be seen. But the case for reform has never been clearer.
- Non-Stick Chemicals Used in Pans, Food Wrappers Linked to ... ›
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The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
300% Rise in Cosmetics Complaints, Trump EPA Ignores Cancer-Linked Chemical in Personal Care Products
A new Northwestern University study revealed that consumer complaints have more than doubled for cosmetic products from 2015 to 2016, highlighting problems with the under-regulated multibillion-dollar beauty industry.
In fact, cosmetics companies and manufacturers are not legally required to share complaints about its products to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meaning potentially harmful products are on our shelves today.
"You can create a cream tonight and sell it tomorrow. You don't need FDA approval for any of these kinds of things as long as it's for cosmetic purposes," Dr. Shuai Xu, an author of the report and resident physician in dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told ABC2 News.
According to the research, published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, side effect complaints rose 78 percent to 706 in 2015, followed by a 300 percent increase to 1,591 adverse events last year. Hair care products were a top offender, especially WEN by Chaz Dean products.
"In 2014, the FDA began investigating WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners after directly receiving 127 consumer reports," the study states. "The FDA later learned the manufacturer had already received 21,000 complaints of alopecia and scalp irritation."
Despite scores of complaints of hair loss, scalp irritation and other problems, "the product remains on the market with the FDA currently soliciting additional consumer reports," the study adds.
Notably, the authors suggested that their study might even be underestimating the number of complaints.
"Here is a $400 billion industry with millions of products and multiple controversies, but we only had about 5,000 adverse events over the course of 12 years," Xu told Health. "That's very, very underreported."
The authors are calling for greater transparency and oversight in order to protect consumers.
"Let's mandate manufacturing forwarding of adverse events to the FDA," Xu added to ABC2 News. "Let's give the FDA authority to recall devices. Let's have a clear ingredient list or at least let the FDA have one, so that not only can we identify a specific product, we can identify hopefully what ingredient within that product is causing issues and that can be translated into multiple products after that."
Distributor Guthy-Renker released the following statement about the allegations against WEN products:
"The WEN family cares deeply about our customers, and we have a long track record of going above and beyond current industry standards. We welcome legislative and regulatory efforts to further enhance consumer safety across the cosmetic products industry. However, there is no credible evidence to support the false and misleading claim that WEN products cause hair loss. Millions of bottles have been sold over the last 16 years, which is a testament to the quality of this product."
Xu also told CNN he still thinks most cosmetics are safe to use.
"When it comes to cosmetics on the shelves that are dangerous, it's very hard to prove," Xu said. "In general, cosmetics are a very safe product class."
In a related vein, New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are petitioning the FDA to require manufacturers to remove the probable carcinogen 1,4-dioxane from their products. The chemical is found in personal care products such as shampoos, soaps and lotions.
"Consumers can't identify it and most importantly, it ends up in our water supply," Schumer said, noting that kidney and liver damage can also happen after long-term exposure to 1,4-dioxane.
According to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep cosmetics database, about 8,000 products may contain 1,4-dioxane but companies are not legally obligated by the FDA to list the contaminant. 1,4-dioxane is not intentionally added to personal care products. Rather, it is an unintentional byproduct during the manufacturing process.
The Trump administration's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a plan last week to determine whether and how to regulate 1,4-dioxane, but EWG has raised flags about how the assessment would ignore exposures from personal care products.
"The Trump plan would consider the risks posed by other exposures—including inhaling 1,4-dioxane in the air, and drinking and washing with 1,4-dioxane in tap water," Scott Faber, EWG's vice president of government affairs, explained. "But the Trump plan would not include exposures from products like toothpaste, mouthwash, sunscreens and shampoos—creating an incomplete picture of the risks posed by the chemical.
"The FDA could take action to ensure 1,4-dioxane is removed or virtually eliminated from shampoos, shower gels, body washes, foaming hand soaps, bubble baths and lotions. In addition to vacuum stripping, manufacturers could take steps to slow the formation of 1,4-dioxane as a byproduct."
By Scott Faber
Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products, a new Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis shows.
More than 5,000 products in EWG's Skin Deep database—about 20 percent of current product formulations rated on the site—use "organic" in the brand name, product name, product label or list of ingredients. But many of these products contained risky or hidden ingredients and received poor Skin Deep scores.
Skin Deep rates a product on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best score and 10 the worst score. Of the products that used the term organic, more than 250 received a score of 5 or above. Four products that used the term organic received a score of 9 or 10.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the use of "organic" when the claim is made on farm products. Cosmetics made primarily of farm products are allowed to carry the USDA Organic seal if 95 percent or more of the ingredients meet federal organic standards, and the remaining ingredients are on an approved ingredient list and were not produced using prohibited methods. Products labeled "made with organic ingredients" can have up to 30 percent non-organic ingredients but cannot use certain ingredients.
But there is no federal standard for "organic" cosmetics products derived from chemicals. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has primary authority over regulating cosmetics, makes little effort to police misleading "organic" cosmetics claims. Some private standards for "organic" cosmetics may allow the use of chemicals that are linked to health problems and restricted in other nations.
WOW! Women Apply an Average of 168 #Chemicals on Their Bodies Every Day http://t.co/CRRtDZ6pWn @ewg @SafeCosmeticsHQ http://t.co/tLw7cBMI13— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1431695501.0
The proliferation of misleading claims and the absence of meaningful oversight has fueled enormous consumer confusion.
A new survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the USDA found that many consumers mistakenly believe personal care products with organic claims meet government standards, even though most do not. A large number of consumers also mistakenly believe personal care products with organic claims contain only organic ingredients.
At the same time, consumers are increasingly seeking and buying "organic" personal care products. Over the past decade, annual sales of "organic" non-food products, including personal care products, have soared from less than $1 billion to $3.6 billion. So far this year, consumers have searched Skin Deep for the word organic 150,000 times, an average of 538 searches per day.
Compounding the confusion is the fact that most consumers mistakenly believe cosmetics chemicals are reviewed and regulated by the FDA. A recent poll found that two-thirds of consumers believe cosmetics chemicals must be proven safe before they can be placed on the market. In fact, the FDA does not review cosmetics chemicals and has only banned nine chemicals for safety reasons.
Many other misleading claims are also made on personal care products, including "natural," "unscented" and "hypo-allergenic" claims. EWG found 21 products in Skin Deep that make "unscented" claims but also list "fragrance" in the ingredients.
7 #Makeup Brands That Are #CrueltyFree + #Vegan -- https://t.co/JbLXvfncoZ via @EcoWatch @peta #Lifestyle #Fashion #Beauty #AnimalRights— Andrea Angulo (@Andrea Angulo)1470762322.0
The misuse of the term organic on cosmetics and other personal care products not only deceives consumers, but also undermines public trust in the USDA's organic standard. Unlike private standards, the USDA organic standard for food and farm products is set and enforced by the federal government, so it guarantees that a product was produced without dangerous chemicals.
What should be done? Today, the FTC and USDA will host a meeting to discuss whether consumer confusion about organic claims on cosmetics, cleaners and other non-food products warrants greater oversight of misleading claims, including greater attention from the FTC.
Twenty-two companies have requested trade secret status to avoid telling the public about toxic chemicals found in nearly 1,500 cosmetic products included in the new California Safe Cosmetics Program Database. The database was released earlier this month as part of the state’s Safe Cosmetics Act, which requires companies to report ingredients in their cosmetic products that are considered carcinogens or reproductive toxins under Proposition 65.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Women’s Voices for the Earth’s recent analysis shows that more than 20 companies—including the makers of Dial, Right Guard, Tresemme, Nexxus, Gold Bond, Selsun Blue, and even “green” brands like CHI Organics—are attempting to skirt the intent of the California’s Safe Cosmetics Act by avoiding public ingredient disclosure in the state’s new database.
“Trade secret status should never be allowed to conceal harmful chemicals such as carcinogens or reproductive toxins from consumers,” said Erin Switalski, executive director of Women’s Voices for the Earth. “It’s reasonable and prudent for consumers to want to avoid exposure to carcinogens, just as women of reproductive age may well want to avoid exposure to reproductive toxins.”
“We understand and respect the need for companies to have trade secret protections for the few select chemicals needed to a product’s competitive advantage, but we do not believe that these business needs should ever trump public health,” she said.
One example is Shiseido, a manufacturer of skincare, make-up and fragrances sold at popular retailers like Macy’s and Sephora. The company filed for trade secret status on ingredients in nearly 400 products they reported to the state.
Switalski said it’s “highly unlikely” that nearly all 400 products Shiseido reported to the database would have chemicals in them that actually need trade secret protection.
“It appears that they are abusing the system to unnecessarily hide harmful chemicals in some of their products from their customers,” said Switalski.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, of which Women’s Voices for the Earth is a co-founder, also called out the companies requesting trade secret status.
"It’s just plain wrong that companies are hiding chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects under the pretense of trade secrets,” said Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy and co-founder of the Campaign. “Consumers want and deserve full ingredient disclosure.”
Concerned consumers may call the 1-800 number listed on products made by these companies and ask them what ingredients they are hiding from their customers. They can also ask by tweeting the companies by following @women4earth and using the hashtag #nosecrets or tagging the companies in Facebook posts.
The 22 companies that requested trade secret status are:
Alberto Culver USA, Inc.
Demeter Fragrance Library, Inc.
Farouk Systems, Inc.
Great Clips, Inc.
Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc.
Kenra Professional, LLC
Rowpar Pharmaceuticals, Inc
Schwartzkopf & Henkel
Shiseido America, Inc.
Tammy Taylor Nails, Inc.
The Dial Corporation
Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.
Beauty balm and complexion corrector creams may expose users to fewer toxic chemicals than the moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen regimens they are designed to replace, says a new analysis by Environmental Working Group (EWG).
A consumer using a beauty balm or complexion corrector—a product that is an all-in-one primer, sunscreen, moisturizer and tone evener—would typically be exposed to an average of 40 chemical ingredients. Someone using three separate products—foundation, moisturizer and sunscreen—would be exposed to an average of 70 chemical ingredients, EWG’s report shows.
Checking products against Skin Deep, EWG’s cosmetics safety database, researchers found the average number of ingredients recognized as hazardous dropped from three to one when the user shifted from a three-product regimen to a single beauty balm or complexion corrector.
"On average, you can reduce your exposure to cosmetic chemical ingredients by nearly half by using one of these products, instead of the usual trifecta of moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen," said Nneka Leiba, EWG deputy research director.
EWG advises consumers to do their homework before choosing a product because some beauty balm and complexion correctors contain ingredients of concern. Some contain hazardous ingredients such as vitamin A and oxybenzone commonly found in sunscreen products.
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test products for safety before they go to market. Nor does the agency review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they are sold.
“As with all cosmetics products on the market, you simply can’t trust the FDA to ensure that those products are truly safe and effective," Leiba said.
Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.
Microplastics ingested by marine worms are transferring toxic chemicals into their systems, having destructive consequences for ocean biodiversity, a new study has found.
A study published Dec. 2 in the journal Current Biology is the latest to warn of the ecological hazards of tiny grains of plastic known as microplastics, millions of tons of which pollute streams and oceans.
Microplastics are suspected to come from several sources. One is plastic beads used in facial scrubs or cosmetics. Microplastics also come from the breakdown of larger plastic materials, such as shopping bags, or the shedding of synthetic fibers from textiles by clothes washing.
The abundance and global distribution of microplastics in the oceans has steadily increased over the last few decades with rising plastic consumption worldwide. The study found that microplastics are threatening lugworms that comprise around 32 percent of the biomass along a shore.
When so-called "eco-engineer" lugworms consume microplastics, they absorb toxic chemicals that disrupt the worms' biological functions. It becomes difficult for the worms to eat organic matter such as silt, which in turn "changes the whole assemblage of animals that live around it," the study found.
"We are losing a large volume of plastic and we know it is going into the environment and the assumption being made by policymakers is that this material is nonhazardous, it has got the same ranking as scraps of food," Mark Browne, an ecologist from the U.S.-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, told the BBC.
Though microplastics are the most plentiful type of solid-waste pollution on earth, they are not considered hazardous under U.S. law.
Marine life other than lugworms also consume these microplastics, which absorbs chemical pollutants such as antimicrobials including triclosan and dyes. Pollutants from microplastics were found to accumulate at higher concentrations in the lugworms' intestines than pollutants from sand.
"For more than 40 years the bit that the scientists and policymakers didn't have was whether these particles of plastic can actually transfer chemicals into wildlife and damage the health of the organism and its ability to sustain biodiversity," Browne said. " That's what we really nailed with the study."
Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.
It's bad enough that some shampoos have ingredients that can cause cancer. Now a new study shows that some anti-dandruff shampoos may be harmful to the environment.
Climbazole acts as a highly efficient fungicide, the study says, and not much is known about its impact on the environment. But even at concentrations as low as 0.5 micrograms per liter of water, such fungicides can hurt many organisms, from tiny algae to big plants and fish.
The local wastewater treatment plant removes a lot of substances, but fail to grab the drugs in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, perfumes, sunscreen, prescription medications and other skincare products that our daily habits add to wastewater.
Because the climbazole remains in the water, the plants are exposed to the fungicide day after day after day. The algae die, but bigger plants suffer retarded growth. Animals like fish are affected, too, since they share similar cellular mechanisms.
Cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market, says the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Under current U.S. regulations, it is legal for cosmetics manufacturers to use unlimited amounts of virtually any ingredient in salon and professional use products, as well as those sold to the general public, including chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental harm, hormone disruption and other adverse health impacts, with no pre-market safety assessment.
As a result, 89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.
If you like to have soft, glowing skin but don't want to pollute our oceans and lakes with plastic microbeads, try these recipes and make your own exfoliating scrub with ingredients from your kitchen.
Avocado Foot Softener from Healthy Child Healthy World
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons mashed avocado or avocado oil
Mix ingredients in a small bowl until a paste forms. Apply to feet, working the gritty paste into calluses and rough spots, and up and around the toes. Rinse with warm water and dry feet thoroughly. Repeat once or twice a week.
Strawberry Hand and Foot Exfoliant from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
- 8 to 10 strawberries
- 2 tablespoons apricot oil (you may substitute olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon of coarse salt, such as Kosher salt or sea salt
Mix together all ingredients, massage into hands and feet, rinse and pat dry.
Simple Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe from sassygirlz.net
- 2 cups turbinado sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil
Combine sugar and honey in a bowl and mix. Add coconut oil and stir until sugar mixture is well soaked. Add vanilla or essential oil of choice. Store in an airtight jar.
No-Nonsense Daily Scrub Recipe from Crunchy Betty
- ½ cup finely ground oats
- ½ cup finely ground almond meal
- Liquid of choice (water or witch hazel for oily skin, milk for dry skin, rosewater for any skin type)
Grind up oats and almonds separately, then combine well. Place a small amount, approximately 2 teaspoons, of scrub in your hand or a small dish. Add a bit of the liquid to the scrub and combine well, letting the oats absorb the liquid. Lightly scrub your face with the mixture, moving in an upward, circular fashion. Let the scrub dry for a few minutes, then lightly rinse with warm water, or rinse off immediately.
Tailor your scrub to your skin type by adding these ingredients:
Oily skin: 2 tablespoons fine sea salt, 2 tablespoons finely ground dried peppermint, and/or 5 drops of rosemary essential oil.
Dry skin: 2 tablespoons powdered milk (try to find full-fat, if you can), 2 tablespoons. finely ground dried calendula, and/or 5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil. If you have very dry skin, you might find more benefit from using full-fat cream as the liquid you use to wet the scrub.
Combination skin: 2 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 tablespoons finely ground dried chamomile, and/or 5 drops lavender essential oil.
The Breast Cancer Fund and online women's group Ultraviolet are refusing a request by Revlon to withdraw their claim that the cosmetics manufacturer uses cancer-causing chemicals in its products.
Revlon says a survey recently issued by the two groups is false and defamatory and is demanding that the groups issue a retraction.
As reported by EcoWatch last week, the groups surveyed ingredients of Revlon products sold in stores and found numerous cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals—including parabens and chemicals that release the carcinogen formaldehyde—in mascaras, face creams, hair dyes and other products.
The groups launched an online petition drive that mobilized more than 45,000 people to demand Revlon stop using chemicals such as butylated compounds, octinoxate and quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in its makeup and hair dye. The online campaign is part of a national effort launched by the Breast Cancer Fund, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Ultraviolet, a national women’s advocacy organization.
“Women shouldn’t have to worry about cancer when they apply their makeup in the morning,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “Young women developing cancer in record numbers should be enough for Revlon to stop lacing its products with toxic chemicals, but instead the company is fighting back against its customers and trying to silence criticism of the chemicals found in its products. No one deserves to increase their cancer risk from using makeup, and we demand Revlon join us in taking a stand and immediately drop these chemicals from its products.”
Revlon's tactics will not work, said Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. "Here’s our message to Revlon: No amount of bullying is going to make us stop advocating on behalf of the millions of people who want and deserve safe cosmetics. Step up and become a leader by taking dangerous chemicals that harm women's health out of your makeup and hair dyes,” Nudelman said.
Next week cancer survivors, women’s advocates and other concerned consumers will be joined by supporters in a protest in front of Revlon’s NYC headquarters. The groups urge Revlon to commit to:
- Develop a comprehensive “safe cosmetics policy” to protect women from chemicals linked to cancer and other adverse health effects.
- Support federal cosmetics safety legislation.
- Share the Revlon product safety policy publicly on the company’s website.
Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.
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.
Ever think about what happens to those plastic microbeads in exfoliating products that you rub on your face and body?
A new paper gives circumstantial evidence that these micro-particle polyethylene beads, which are less than 1mm in diameter and designed to be washed down the drain, are polluting the Great Lakes.
The paper was published recently in the peer-reviewed Marine Pollution Bulletin. Written by 5 Gyres Institute, in collaboration with researchers from State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia, the report is believed to be the first micro-plastic pollution survey of the Great Lakes Region.
“We found high concentrations of micro-plastics, more than most ocean samples collected worldwide," said the paper's lead author and co-director of 5 Gyres Institute, Marcus Eriksen.
The highest concentrations of micro-plastics were observed in Lake Erie, and accounted for about 90 percent of the total plastics found. Polyethylene and polypropylene beads were found in the samples, as well as particles of aluminum silicate, or coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.
Armed with its preliminary findings last year, 5 Gyres Institute asked manufacturers of personal care products to pledge to remove the plastic microbeads from their products. Many of the companies, including L’Oreal, The Body Shop, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble have agreed to phase out them out.
Leading this trend to phase out microbeads was U.K.-based Unilever. Under pressure from European environmental activists, Unilever in December 2012 announced it was working to eliminate plastic microbeads in the next three years.
Study after study has documented the presence of large amounts of plastic in the world’s oceans, Sam Mason, associate professor of chemistry at SUNY Fredonia, said. “If we find it in the oceans, we’re probably going to find it in the Great Lakes.”
The study showed that the microbeads were not being captured by sewage treatment plants. Small fish and zooplankton could be feeding on microplastics because the particles are about the same size as their food. If these animals are ingesting the particles, the plastic could interfere with nutrient uptake or even physically clog their guts, Mason said.
Researchers are worried that persistent toxic substances found in the Great Lakes, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, can adsorb into the plastic and be released in the bodies of aquatic creatures that eat the tiny particles. The plastic then could serve as a carrier for toxic substances to move into fish, then into those who eat them, including humans and birds, Mason said.
The researchers' work was funded by the Burning River Foundation, an Ohio nonprofit organization that focuses on protecting aquatic resources. In 2012, the researchers cruised Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie to collect samples from the surface waters. In August, they set sail on an unprecedented expedition to quantify and report on the extent of plastic pollution in Lake Michigan. Every piece of microplastic collected—there were thousands—was examined using a scanning electron microscope and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Mason said.
Most of the beads are spherical, suggesting they were released into the environment as pellets, Mason said. Many of them are the same size and color—including white, blue, green, or orange-red—as the small beads used in a number of personal care products.
Several states and municipalities are interested in banning micro-plastics in consumer products. 5 Gyres is working with a team of advisors to produce model legislation for states to consider.
5 Gyres Institute has launched a microsite as well as an international mobile app, Beat The Microbead, which allows consumers to scan the barcode of personal care products to determine whether they contain plastic microbeads and whether the manufacturer has agreed to remove them.
Here's a video explaining 5 Gyres' micro-plastics project: