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2005 News Coverage



Study: Unsafe cosmetics may cause cancer
by Bay City News ServiceSan Jose Mercury News
December 12th, 2005
Several cosmetics and personal care products popular with teenagers contain ingredients linked to breast cancer and other serious health problems, according to Washington-based Environmental Working Group's recent study of beauty products.

Campaigning For Safe Cosmetics, Tougher FDA
by Joann KlimkiewiczThe Hartford Courant
December 6th, 2005
Everyday, we smear and spritz ourselves without a second thought. Eyes get rimmed in kohl liner, lips slicked in gloss. A dab of cologne on the neck, a dollop of body lotion on elbows and hands.

European Parliament OKs Rules on Chemical Safety
by Marla ConeLos Angeles Times
November 18th, 2005
The European Parliament on Thursday approved legislation requiring safety testing of thousands of compounds widely used in everyday products, endorsing a policy that would overhaul how the public was protected from toxic chemicals.

Security Guards: Cosmetic safety is goal of Quincy health group
by Jody FeinbergThe Patriot Ledger
November 15th, 2005
Sue Weber used to dye her hair, but now it’s a natural salt and pepper shade. She sparingly uses make up and nail polish. As a 14-year breast cancer survivor, Weber, 52, wants to avoid putting on her body substances that could be harmful.

Skin Deep: Is It Organic? Well, Maybe
by Jessica MerrillThe New York Times
October 20th, 2005
Hundreds of soaps, shampoos and skin creams call themselves organic, but their labels have long been confusing, even misleading. A moisturizing cream might be made with organic kiwi, strawberries, jojoba oil and aloe vera, but then mixed with synthetic preservatives. No government agency checked whether the ingredients were truly organic.

Is that mascara safe? Go online
by David GoldsteinKansas City Star
October 19th, 2005
Want to know what's in your face cream? You can look it up in a new online database, along with more than 14,000 other cosmetics and personal care products, to find out whether the ingredients could be hazardous to your health.

New law puts focus on cosmetics ingredients
by Elizabeth JardinaOakland Tribune
October 17th, 2005
The shampoo and makeup aisles at your favorite drug store may not reflect it, but there's controversy brewing among the neat cardboard boxes of hair dye and bottles of lotion.

From an Ingredient In Cosmetics, Toys, A Safety Concern
by Peter WaldmanWall Street Journal
October 4th, 2005
In the 12th week of a human pregnancy, the momentous event of gender formation begins, as X and Y chromosomes trigger biochemical reactions that shape male or female organs. Estrogens carry the process forward in girls, while in boys, male hormones called androgens do.

Citizens Advisers Releases Research Examining EU Rules for the Cosmetics Industry: What They Mean for U.S. Companies, Consumers and Shareholders
Business Wire Press release
October 3rd, 2005
Today, Citizens Advisers, Inc., announced the release of research examining the European Union (EU) legislation and existing U.S. regulations for the cosmetic industry, and what these mean for companies, consumers and shareholders.

Powder flies as backers, foes press positions on cosmetics bill
by Marjie LundstromSacramento Bee
September 29th, 2005
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is no "girlie man" — just ask him — but he does wear makeup.

Cosmetics not regulated
by Karen D. Collins, staff writerAsbury Park Press
September 28th, 2005
The fountain of youth is really located in the aisle of your local grocery store — if you believe the advertisements.

Organic Beauty Products Get a Lift With USDA About-Face
by Roger Vincent, Times Staff WriterLos Angeles Times
August 25th, 2005
Turns out there is such a thing as organic lip balm after all. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reversed its decision to yank the "USDA Organic" seal from lotions and lip balms and will allow cosmetics to carry the prestigious round, green label.

Are our products our enemy?
by Elizabeth WeiseUSA Today
August 2nd, 2005
Like the glint of a knife in the dark, a laboratory accident in 1998 helped scientists realize that some chemicals commonly used to make life more convenient can be health hazards.

‘Is my baby a boy? Is it a girl?’ No one could tell me
by Steve BogganThe London Times
July 26th, 2005
The number of male babies born with reproductive disorders is rising rapidly, and some scientists blame a group of chemicals that are around us.

Levels of Risk: Common Industrial Chemicals In Tiny Doses Raise Health Issue
by Peter Waldman, Staff ReporterThe Wall Street Journal
July 25th, 2005
For years, scientists have struggled to explain rising rates of some cancers and childhood brain disorders. Something about modern living has driven a steady rise of certain maladies, from breast and prostate cancer to autism and learning disabilities.

Toxic elements found in infants' cord blood
by Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post Staff WriterPalm Beach Post
July 14th, 2005
In a benchmark study released today, researchers found an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns, including seven dangerous pesticides — some banned in the United States more than 30 years ago.

EPA Is Faulted as Failing to Shield Public From Toxins
by Marla Cone, Times Staff WriterLos Angeles Times
July 13th, 2005
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect the public from tens of thousands of toxic compounds because it has not gathered data on the health risks of most industrial chemicals, according to a report by the investigative arm of Congress to be released today.

Should You Worry About the Chemicals in Your Makeup?
by LAUREL NAVERSEN GERAGHTYThe New York Times
July 7th, 2005
Not that you would notice from the color, thickness or shine, but nail polish is not what it used to be. Last year many nail polishes contained a little-known chemical that made the veneer more flexible and resistant to chipping. This year some of the biggest brands, including Revlon, Estée Lauder and L'Oréal, have taken that chemical out and replaced it with another ingredient meant to do the same thing.

What's organic anyway?
by LISA LIDDANEOrange County Register
June 26th, 2005
Lisa LaBarre has been filling up her shopping cart with organic food every week for more than two years. In the past six months, she has expanded the amount of organic products in her life, switching from regular skin- and body-care products to organic brands.

Activists call for safer cosmetics during Portsmouth visit
by MICHAEL GOOT, Portsmouth Bureau ChiefFoster's Daily Democrat
June 24th, 2005
Activists have spent the week lobbying for cosmetics to be made without harmful chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases.

Cosmetic Caution
by Reported by Dr. Deanna LitesWHDH-TV (Boston NBC affiliate)
June 24th, 2005
You use them every day: shampoo, make-up, moisturizer, perfume or cologne. But with each use you could be spreading a dangerous chemical. On Monday, Massachusetts legislators will hear from the public on the Safer Alternatives Bill asking companies to remove toxic chemicals from their products.

Call to regulate gender-bending chemicals:
by Alok Jha, science correspondentThe Guardian
June 20th, 2005
Scientists will call on European leaders today to take urgent action to speed up regulation of the thousands of gender-bending chemicals in use across the continent.

Sorry, but We've Got Really Bad Chemistry
by Steve Lopez: Points WestLos Angeles Times
June 8th, 2005
The results are in, and it turns out I'm a walking cocktail of toxic chemicals. I've got a jigger of lead in me, a splash of flame retardant and a dash of DDT.

Beauty Contested
by Natasha SingerWomen's Wear Daily Beauty Biz
June 1st, 2005
The battle is heating up between the cosmetics industry and activist groups who are targeting the very foundations of the business.

Legislature Targets Toxic Risks in Products
by Jordan Rau, Times Staff WriterLos Angeles Times
May 30th, 2005
Moving more assertively than lawmakers in other states, the California Legislature is stepping into a growing global debate over how to regulate potentially dangerous chemicals used in perfume, nail polish, plastic baby bottles, rubber ducks and thousands of other products.

Study Finds Genital Abnormalities in Boys
by Marla ConeLos Angeles Times
May 27th, 2005
Scientists studying the effects of hormone-mimicking chemicals on humans have reported that compounds called phthalates, used in plastics and beauty products and widely found in people, seem to alter the reproductive organs of baby boys.

Phthalates: An Interview with Shanna Swan
by Steve CurwoodLiving On Earth (National Public Radio)
May 27th, 2005
Researchers have known for years that phthalates, a family of chemicals found in paints, pesticides, and consumer products like shampoo, soap, and makeup, can have detrimental effects on genital and reproductive development in male rats. Now for the first time, a study looks at possible impacts on male human babies. Host Steve Curwood talks to Shanna Swan, one of the study's authors, about the results.

'Gender-bending' chemicals found to 'feminise' boys
by Andy CoghlanNewScientist.com news service
May 27th, 2005
“Gender-bending” chemicals mimicking the female hormone oestrogen can disrupt the development of baby boys, suggests the first evidence linking certain chemicals in everyday plastics to effects in humans.

Chemicals in plastics harming unborn boys
by Ian Sample, science correspondentThe Guardian (United Kingdom)
May 27th, 2005
Scientists in America have found the first evidence that common chemicals used in products as diverse as cosmetics, toys, clingfilm and plastic bags may harm the development of unborn baby boys.

Common chemical may cause defects in baby boys
by Elizabeth WeiseUSA Today
May 27th, 2005
For the first time, scientists have shown that pregnant mothers exposed to high but common levels of a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, fragrances, plastics and paints can have baby boys with smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent.

ACHES & CLAIMS: The Ingredients of Beauty
by ROBERT J. DAVISTHE WALL STREET JOURNAL
May 24th, 2005
Are hazards lurking in your hair gel and hand cream? That's the claim of some environmental groups and politicians, who are pushing to remove chemicals known as phthalates from a wide array of beauty products. While studies show the chemicals may cause birth defects and other problems in animals, the Food and Drug Administration says there's no evidence that levels in cosmetics pose a risk to humans.

Chemicals' toxicity debated: Phthalates are used in personal products
by Julie Sevrens LyonsSan Jose Mercury News
May 18th, 2005
They're in soap. And hair spray. Baby toys. Hand lotion. Deodorant. Vinyl upholstery. Nail polish. And perfume. Chemicals known as phthalate esters are so prevalent, in fact, that most personal hygiene products and soft PVC plastics contain some — and most Americans have traces of the compounds circulating inside their bodies, according to government reports.

Europe's Rules Forcing U.S. Firms to Clean Up
by Marla Cone, Times Staff WriterLos Angeles Times
May 16th, 2005
At their headquarters in Santa Clara, researchers at Coherent Inc., the world's largest laser manufacturer, are wrestling with an environmental law that is transforming their entire product line.

Midgen bill would require cosmetic chemical disclosure
by Bay City News WireKPIX TV-5, CBS
April 1st, 2005
A North Bay lawmaker is hoping to clean up the cosmetics industry in California by introducing legislation that would require special labeling and ban certain chemicals in cosmetics.

Untested Cosmetics May Soon Carry Warning Labels
The Miami Herald
March 31st, 2005
Would you rethink purchasing your next tube of lipstick or personal care product if it bore a warning label stating its safety had not been determined? This may become a reality if the FDA decides the ingredients in the product haven't been adequately tested for safety.

The Ugly Side of Pretty
by Rebecca Ephraim, R.D., C.C.NDragonFly Media
February 1st, 2005
"I don’t pay much attention to the ingredient lists, I just know what works for me," said Shelley Carpenter, when asked what she looks for in her personal care products. Thinking a little harder, she adds, "I’m allergic to most perfumes, so I stay away from smelly stuff. But I couldn't pin it down." This begs the question, "Who can?"

Top companies offer safer cosmetics
by Lisa RyckmanRocky Mountain News
January 25th, 2005
Two cosmetic companies are reformulating their products to meet higher safety standards.

FDA phthalate study finds highest levels of substance in nail polish
The Rose Sheet
January 24th, 2005
An FDA study of phthalate exposure in humans found five phthalate esters in 32 of 48 cosmetic products analyzed.

L'Oreal, Revlon bow to Bay Area pressure
by Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment WriterSan Francisco Chronicle
January 15th, 2005
Two major cosmetics companies have agreed to eliminate chemicals suspected of causing cancer, birth defects and infertility from their products, including a common plasticizer in nail polish.

Cosmetics companies shun contentious chemical
by Thaddeus HerrickWall Street Journal
January 14th, 2005
Amid pressure from the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based group pushing to eliminate these chemicals , Revlon Inc., Groupe L'Oréal SA and Unilever said they no longer are using phthalates, a group of chemicals often found in such cosmetic products as nail polish, fragrances and hair sprays.

The ugly side of beauty products
Environmental Health Perspectives
January 1st, 2005
Several recent reports highlight the presence of low-level concentrations of potential reproductive or developmental toxicants, particularly phthalates, in cosmetics and personal care products. A key question is whether these exposures are significant enough to cause harm.