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Hey Pretty Pretty

July 26, 2010

I came across this new movie about cosmetics (scroll down to view it.) It is from the same people who brought us the story of stuff and the story of bottled water, which I have written about in previous posts. This particular story focuses on what goes into our personal care products (soap, makeup, shampoo etc.) and what needs to happen in order for them to be safe. Lead, mercury, tar, and a ton of other toxins are in our care products. Even worse, there aren’t very strict laws regarding the testing these chemicals orthe proper labeling of the them. Many of the toxins in our personal care products have been banned by the European Union. However, this isn’t about fear mongering, there are actual solutions. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of different non profits that work “to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.” In other words they work to create laws that better regulate what can go into our cosmetics and how things need to be labeled so that people know what they are putting in and on their bodies. They also do a lot of outreach to help educate people about what is in their products. The take action and get involved sections of their website include ways to contact your representatives about these issues, ways to educate your community and ways to contact cosmetic companies to let them know you care about what goes into their products. Each month they provide an action alert with something specific you can  do to help. In addition to all of this they also provide a downloadable list of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. By signing, cosmetics manufacturers pledge that:

  1. All cosmetics and personal care products made by the company anywhere in the world meet or exceed the formulation standards and deadlines set by the European Union cosmetics directive to be free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects.
  2. The company will implement substitution plans that replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives within three years, and publicly report its progress in meeting these goals.

So, I recommend you watch the movie, read the list, buy safe products, and educate others.  By working to both change the laws regarding what goes into personal care products and by choosing safe products you can attack the problem from all sides.

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