пятница, 17 мая 2013 г.

Do You Really Get What You Pay For?


Do You Really Get What You Pay For?

Expert Author T. Bohler
The saying "you get what you pay for" is not currently true in the cosmetic industry. Words like "natural," "chemical free," "organic" or products labeled by industry as "best products," "best sellers," or "best brands," are not always true. U.S. Federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off labels, including nanomaterials, ingredients considered trade secrets, and components of fragrance that contain harmful chemicals. As consumers, we are often led to believe that we are buying a very expensive product that will do wonders for us. However, we are often not knowledgeable about reading labels and linking ingredients to cancer causing agents. Although we may be purchasing a very high end product, we may also be contributing to the decline of our health by the ongoing exposure of chemicals on our skin that invade our bodies.
In the United States more than 500 products sold contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union. In addition, nearly 100 products contain ingredients considered unsafe by the International Fragrance Association. Also, 22% of all personal care products may be contaminated with the cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane, including many children's products. Over 60% of sunscreens contain the potential hormone disruptor oxybenzone that penetrates skin and contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans. Lastly, 61% of tested lipstick brands contain residues of lead.
Unlike the United States, the European Union (EU), now comprised of 25 countries, has more protective and stringent laws for cosmetics. In fact, EU Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics; the U.S. FDA has banned or restricted only 11 of those 1,328 chemicals.
One state that has taken a lead in banning chemicals from products is California. In 2005, California became the first U.S. state to pass state legislation governing the safety and reporting of cosmetic ingredients. As a result, the California Safe Cosmetics Act requires manufacturers to disclose to the state any chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. This database is open to the public. The state took action on a company called Brazillian Blowout during November 2010 when it filed suit for high formaldehyde content in its hair-straightening products.
As consumers, we should assist the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the agency charged with oversight of cosmetics, by encouraging Congress to pass more stringent requirements. As of today, FDA has no authority to require pre-market safety assessments (that are often done with drugs, medical devices, and biological items). Therefore, cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market. The fact is that 89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have NOT been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
Take a stand and get involved in creating a safer cosmetic line of products for the good of our people and the planet. Support companies like Johnson & Johnson that committed to reduce its use of carcinogens in products by 2015. Support The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (H.R. 1385), introduced on March 21, 2013 by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. and Ed Markey, D-Mass., that is designed to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that ingredients are fully disclosed. Provisions of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 include:
1) Phase-out of ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
2) Creation of a health-based safety standard that includes protections for children, the elderly, workers and other vulnerable populations;
4) Elimination of labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and company websites, including salon products and the constituent ingredients of fragrance;
5) Worker access to information about unsafe chemicals in personal care products;
6) Required data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing and encourage the development of alternatives to animal testing; and
7) Adequate funding to the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors so it has the resources it needs to provide effective oversight of the cosmetics industry.
Join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics ( http://safecosmetics.org ). Lastly, Support companies promoting natural and chemical free products.
The author, Tamikio Bohler, is the owner of Mikios Natural Body Scrub, http://www.mikiosnaturalbodyscrub.com. Her company makes and sells 100% natural salt body scrubs. She started the company because she felt that there was a need to offer products that are natural, healthy AND affordable.

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