Saturday, August 26, 2006

Consumer complaints about poisonous cosmetics--eek!

(image courtesy of the Breast Cancer Fund)

In the European Union, chemicals are required to be proven safe before they are approved to be used in cosmetic products, as your skin is a big sponge to soak up stuff, you breathe in the fumes, etc. Big example is TRICLOSAN, banned in Europe at a potential carcinogen, here the major ingredient in all the antibacterial soaps and things a helping to breed super-bugs everywhere! (Hello, antibiotic resistant flesh-eating bacteria?)

In contrast, in America, we have the half-assed Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Database.
The Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Monitoring Database of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC) is comprised of consumer adverse reaction reports received at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Headquarters, FDA District Offices, and FDA MedWatch Program.

The OCAC estimates that it may receive only a small percentage of cosmetic complaints reported by consumers. Complaints may be more frequently filed with with poison control centers, state and local agencies, or with the product manufacturer and/or distributor who are not required to submit their complaint files to FDA.

Note: All reporting is voluntary and the information is "as reported" by the complainant. There may not have been any FDA follow-up to determine the accuracy of the information, and it may be uncertain whether or not the reported product actually caused the adverse reaction.
The report stops at 2003, and, as the ever-vigilant (haha, that's a joke, son) FDA says, first, someone has to go to the trouble to figure out how to report the reaction (as opposed to just chucking the bottle in the garbage as you run screaming from your "non-thermal" burns) and then, pretty-please, the company has the option to report it VOLUNTARILY. (How often did you ever volunteer that you were the one to leave the toilet paper roll empty?) But check out just a few of the ones for which people DID go to all the toil and trouble and used productive working hours to file complaints--we're not talking mysterious Romanian products from the dollar store, we're talking stuff that's at the local Rite Aid:
"No More Tears"** baby products (eeek!)

Johnson's Gentle Treatment No LYE (emphasis mine--eeek!) Hair Conditioner

JASON Natural Shampoo for Damage Control (a "natural" brand that sometimes uses a sprinkling of organic flowers to excuse the icky icky chemicals, by the way)
And "complaints" include: Dermatitis (to include rash, redness, swelling, blisters, sores, weeping, lumps, inflammation, sunburn, chemical burn, and irritation)

Tissue Damage-other than thermal burn (to include dryness, peeling, splitting, cracking, hair or nail breakage, hair or nail loss, ulcerations, hair matting, and scars)

Nervous System Reactions (to include dizziness, headache, irritability, nervousness, and numbness)

Read it and eek here.

** (did you know they use, or used to, at least, an anesthestic so that it doesn't hurt the baby's eyes? My father was an anesthesiologist....)


Alotta Errata said...

I'm slowly replacing my beauty products with paraben free, natural products as the need arises. I just finished up my last bottle of traditional shampoo and replaced it with Avalon Organics Tea Tree scalp treatment shampoo and I love it. Next will be my body lotions, since I'm almost done with the bottle. Cosmetics will be a lot harder to replace since there aren't many alternatives.

You should check out the this site:

It has a breakdown of the ingredients for nearly every beauty product out there, explains which ingredients are hormone disrupting, carcinogenic, etc and gives them safety ratings. I try to not get anything that scores higher than 1.

Anonymous said...

¿Do you read Louise Hay?

Unknown said...

¿Do you read Louise Hay?

GreenFertility said...

Hi Melissa, that EWG site is great, thanks for listing it. Yes, cosmetics are a drag--I don't even like mineral ones. Olive oil or coconut oil makes a great lotion!

GreenFertility said...

Who is Louise Hay?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

“This is a real rip off!” “What a scam!” You may repeat these statements every time when you are not pleased with the quality of goods or the customer service of this or that company. But do not shout into the open air. Do something that really works. Submit complaints. On the web site, you can post all the problems and misunderstandings that happened to you in any company of the world. Sharing your bitter experience will help others to avoid misunderstandings.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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