Posted on 01-17-2014
According to SFgate.com reported by healthfreedoms.org, consumers can now see whether their personal care products contain toxic chemicals, using an online database made available Friday by the California Department of Public Health.
The Safe Cosmetics Program Product Database allows website visitors to check whether their shampoos, lipsticks, lotions, nail polishes and other personal care products contain ingredients known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.
Searches can be done on a type of product, a specific product name, or a brand, chemical or company name. About 475 companies have submitted information about 30,000 products so far, and the chemicals in the database include phthalates, mercury and mercury compounds, toluene and formaldehyde, among other known toxicants.
“This website is a unique, searchable database that lets consumers make informed decisions about cosmetic use,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the Department of Public Health.
The website was created to make public information collected under the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005. The law requires cosmetics companies to report to the program if their products are sold in California and they make more than $1 million a year in aggregate cosmetic sales, and if their products contain a chemical ingredient that has been found to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive damage.
A product listed in the database has not necessarily been shown to have harmful health effects, because products that contain even a low amount of a potentially hazardous chemical must be reported. The website does not list the amounts.
The Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco health advocacy group that pushed for the Safe Cosmetics Act, applauded the database.
“The database reveals a snapshot of a Wild West industry where cosmetics companies can and are using a shocking array of unsafe and cancer-causing chemicals in seemingly innocent products,” said Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which is part of the Breast Cancer Fund. “California’s database is one more tool for consumers to use to make safer choices about cosmetics.
“It will also keep the pressure on companies to reformulate products to remove chemicals linked to adverse health effects.”
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