In July the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was proposed to the House of Representatives. This Act will help to ensure that harmful chemicals are kept out of our cosmetics. Currently, there is no regulation by the Food and Drud Administration on what ingredients go into cosmetics, and the FDA cannot recall products that are found to be dangerous and extremely harmful. Many of the products, including ones listed as green, natural, or organic have ingredients in them that are allergens, known carcinogens (cause cancer), and are linked to neurotoxicity and reproductive and developmental toxicity. The Act still needs to be passed by Congress and the Senate. Contact your local politicians and let them know how important this is to you. You can visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to learn what to do to help.
While we are waiting for the FDA to catch up and regulate these products, how do we avoid putting endless amounts of chemicals on our face and bodies and on our children every day? Think of every product you put onto your body: shampoo, lotion, make-up, deodorant. All those products may contain harmful ingredients! To start, you can go to this website that rates cosmetic products' toxicity from 1 to 10. Pay attention to what products you are buying when you are at the store, and if a product is really unnecessary, stop using it. You can also write letters or emails to companies making these products and tell them that you want safer, toxic free products.
There is a great project going on called the Story of Stuff. Annie Leonard uses cartoons to help educate people on environmental issues. There is a video called the Story of Cosmetics that everyone should watch, and while you are there, take a look at some of her other videos too. The website is www.storyofstuff.org.
Picture from Storyofstuff.org.