What do you need to know about toxics in your cosmetics products

Jul 10, 13 What do you need to know about toxics in your cosmetics products

(Taken from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/what-you-need-to-know-about-toxics-in-your-cosmetic-products/ )

What comes to mind when you think of pollution? Probably not your shampoo, soap
or hand lotion. But some of the chemicals found in personal care products aren’t that pretty.

U.S. researchers identified 10,500 industrial chemicals used as cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxics, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants.

In the spring of 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation invited Canadians to pull back the shower curtain and participate in an online survey about toxic ingredients in cosmetics. We asked participants to check ingredient lists for 12 sets of chemicals — a Dirty Dozen ingredients linked to health and environmental concerns, including cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma and severe allergies.

The report What’s inside? That counts: A survey of toxic ingredients in our cosmetics summarizes key findings from the survey, highlights weaknesses in Canada’s legal framework governing toxic chemicals in cosmetics, and outlines recommendations for strengthening laws and regulations to better protect human health and the environment.

More than 6,200 individuals participated in our survey, providing information for more than 12,500 personal care products. The results are disturbing.

Survey results

  • Almost 80 per cent of products reportedly contained at least one of the Dirty Dozen ingredients;
  • More than half of all products reportedly contained multiple Dirty Dozen ingredients;
  • Participants were unable to locate ingredient lists on more than 1,000 products.

Equally disturbing, loopholes in Canada’s cosmetic ingredient labelling requirements result in incomplete ingredient lists on many products. Notably, manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients on the product label. Instead, the generic term parfum is listed, representing a mysterious mixture of potentially dozens of chemicals.

Also, personal care products regulated as “drugs” on the basis of therapeutic claims (e.g., tartar-fighting toothpaste, bacteria-killing cleansers, face cream with sun protection) are not subject to the cosmetic ingredient labelling requirements.

Notwithstanding these loopholes, cosmetics are the only type of product, other than food, for which Canadian consumers are afforded the right to know about chemical ingredients. As a result, consumers can seek to avoid at least some toxic chemicals in their toiletries — and many do. Three out of five participants indicated that they check the ingredient list before buying personal care products. But survey results signal how difficult it can be, even for the conscientious shopper, to avoid chemicals of concern. “Buyer beware” is inadequate when it comes to protecting human health and the environment from unnecessary toxic exposures. Government has a role to play in requiring more user-friendly ingredient lists and keeping harmful chemicals out of our products in the first place. Ninety-eight per cent of survey participants agreed that Canada’s cosmetic laws should be strengthened.

The David Suzuki Foundation offers recommendations to protect our health and the health of our environment from unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetics.

Report Recommendations

  1. Replace potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetics with safer alternatives.
  2. As an interim step, implement hazard labelling for ingredients linked to chronic health concerns and strengthen EcoLogo™ certification criteria for personal care products.
  3. Require pre-market approval of the chemical composition of cosmetics and allow public access to a searchable online database of information submitted by manufacturers.
  4. Extend restrictions on cosmetic ingredients to “unintentional ingredients” (e.g., impurities, by-products).
  5. Extend ingredient restrictions and labelling requirements to personal care products regulated as “drugs.”
  6. Require manufacturers to disclose specific fragrance ingredients.
  7. Prohibit use of the terms unscented and fragrance-free in the marketing of products that contain fragrance ingredients (including masking agents).
  8. Prohibit anti-bacterial household products, including cosmetics.
  9. Restrict use of the terms natural and organic in the marketing of products that contain nonorganic and synthetic ingredients.
  10. Extend ingredient disclosure requirements to other types of consumer products, including household cleaners, toys and furnishings.

The Dirty Dozen

  1. BHA and BHT: Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits. P-phenylenediamine is used in some hair dyes; other colours are used in a variety of cosmetics. Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
  3. DEA-related ingredients: Used in some creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  4. Dibutyl phthalate: Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
  6. Paraben, methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben: Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
  7. Parfum: Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics. Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  8. PEGs (e.g., PEG -60): Used in some cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
  9. Petrolatum: Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. Can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
  10. Siloxanes: Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate: Used in some foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
  12. Triclosan: Used in some antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and deodorants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Loopholes in Canada’s Cosmetics Laws

  • Manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients on the product label. Instead, the generic term parfum is listed, representing a mixture of potentially dozens of chemicals.
  • Products regulated as “drugs” on the basis of therapeutic claims (e.g., tartarfighting toothpaste, bacteria-killing cleansers, face cream with sun protection) are only required to list ‘active’ ingredients, not complete list as required for products regulated as cosmetics.
  • Although most ingredients in cosmetics have never been tested for their effects on human health and the environment, Health Canada does not require pre-market testing of chemicals used in cosmetics.
  • Under Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations, manufacturers are required to disclose the concentration of each ingredient in their product to the Minister of Health, but this information is not made public.
  • Chemicals that are prohibited or restricted may still be present in cosmetics as byproducts or impurities
  • Manufacturers are not required to disclose specific fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients
  • Products marketed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may contain fragrance ingredients, in the form of masking agents that prevent the brain from perceiving odour.

p/s Credit to Ms Low SN for recommending this page


  1. student discount universal studios Where is Home
    Depot gift card number?


    How do I check my QNB credit card points? Can I use coupons on Amazon?

  2. Thank you for another excellent post. The place else could
    anyone get that type of info in such an ideal approach of writing?
    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

  3. How does a promo code look like? building supplies
    online discount code

    10% OFF DISCOUNT CODE March 2022 for OpenMedShop

    Can you use 2 coupons at once? How do you wrap a card to hold a box?

  4. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  5. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

  6. What do you need to know about toxics in your cosmetics products | Dr Skin
    nzlqjljev http://www.g0naj2w341266oe2g0okt126x85x5rvas.org/

  7. Normally I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  8. Howdy very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?
    I am happy to search out so many helpful information right here in the submit, we’d like develop extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  9. It’s amazing for me to have a web site, which is beneficial in support of my knowledge.
    thanks admin

  10. If some one needs expert view on the topic of blogging afterward i advise him/her to pay a quick visit this website,
    Keep up the pleasant work.

  11. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful information specially the remaining part 🙂 I deal with such
    information much. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time.

    Thank you and good luck.

  12. I was studying some of your posts on this internet site and I conceive this website is really informative ! Continue posting.

  13. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Hi all, here every one is sharing these kinds of experience, so it’s fastidious to read this webpage, and I used
    to pay a visit this website everyday.

  15. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested
    to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a
    youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  16. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or
    did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with
    a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

  17. Thanks for some other wonderful article. Where else
    could anyone get that type of info in such a perfect method of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  18. You need to take part in a contest for one of the best websites on the internet.
    I most certainly will recommend this blog!

  19. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you
    hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thank you

  20. I used to be suggested this web site by way of my cousin. I’m not sure whether or not this
    publish is written through him as nobody else realize such specific about
    my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thank you!

  21. Hi!Woukd you mind if I sharre your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  22. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the website is also really good.

  23. 어린이날 저희와함께 놀아요 에볼루션카지노 앞으로도 자주 방문할 예정입니다

  24. each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews which
    as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I am reading at this place.

  25. What’s up to every single one, it’s genuinely a pleasant for me to pay
    a visit this web site, it consists of helpful Information.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.