The Environmental Working Group, a watchdog agency, wants the Food and Drug Administration to issue warning labels or recall 367 personal care products that EWG says have ingredients with unproven safety records.
EWG surveyed 2,300 people and found the average adult uses nine cosmetic products each day, thereby being exposed to 126 distinct chemical ingredients. Of 10,000 products studied over a six-month period, 356 contain ingredients that lack safety data to support their use in personal care products, says EWG. Another 19 products have ingredients such as ceteareth-20 or sodium borate that the group says may be harmful even when used according to package directions.
"Cosmetics companies that sell products in Europe have to remove chemicals that can cause cancer, mutations and birth defects" by this fall, said Charlotte Brody, executive director of Commonweal, a health and environmental research institute. There's no reason they couldn't market the same toxin-free formulations of their products in the United States, she added.
To view the EWG's petition or learn more about the issue, visit www.ewg.org.