Some big name brands may be making people sick according to new information released recently about the ingredients in some popular scented health and beauty products. A study released on September 26 by the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners found a number of chemicals not listed on products’ ingredient disclosure lists, and these chemicals may be dangerous to consumers who unwittingly use certain products on a daily basis.
The study found that when manufacturers use ingredients listed simply as “perfume” or “fragrance,” they may be hiding what’s really used in their products. Up until now, terms such as these were considered adequate descriptors of what ingredients were used to make the product and what ingredients contributed to the pleasing, alluring scent of many popular health and beauty products.
A federal bill requiring that all ingredients in a product be listed individually will be introduced the first week of October 2018, possibly in response to the findings of the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners study.
Products Should Complete Ingredient List
Janet Nudelman, Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, said, “We found fragrance chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption and other serious health conditions in everything from children’s shampoo to body lotion to perfumes…” The report also points out that consumers and those who work in beauty salons have good reason to worry about the presence of dangerous chemicals in the unlisted ingredients used to create an alluring fragrance in many everyday products.
The study found that of the 25% of ingredients identified in the products tested, most contained substances that have been linked to cancer, respiratory issues, developmental delays, and reproductive system problems. Products listed as “fragrance free,” “scent free,” or “odor free” may also be dangerous due to the chemicals used to mask fragrances in these products. According to the report, the chemicals included in many products to create a neutral scent may be making consumers very sick.
Up until now, the cosmetics industry has been mostly self-regulated. However, some retailers, such as Walmart, have taken measures to require manufacturers to disclose or eliminate some ingredients, and several states have introduced bills on listing fragrance ingredients along with other measures to more carefully scrutinize products. Nudelman points out that previous federal legislation to more closely regulate cosmetics have exempted fragrance, but this must change, she says.
Safe Cosmetics Bill
Illinois Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky Jan Schakowsky is going to unveil the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2018 in coming days. The Act calls for listing all ingredients, including fragrances, on packaging and having the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establish a list of banned ingredients. This will allow consumers the opportunity to know what’s really in the products they use and then make informed decisions about what they choose to put on their bodies. Salon employees will be able to purchase the products they feel safe using on a daily basis, and they will be better able to inform their clients about the products being used on their hair, face, and body.
Three notable companies that claim they’re on board with the new regulations for listing all product ingredients are Unilever (the makers of Axe body spray), Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.