Let’s talk toxic. The food industry generally garners the most attention when it comes to harmful substances, and regulatory proceedings. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration moved toward banning trans fats. But a growing number of people are becoming as concerned about what they are putting on their body, as well as what goes in it.
The regulations and rules that apply to cosmetics create a nebulous marketplace. The FDA’s website states it is a company’s “legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.” Even if the product is dangerous, the FDA cannot order a recall. “Recalls of cosmetics are voluntary actions taken by manufacturers or distributors to remove from the marketplace products that represent a hazard or gross deception.” Manufacturers are also not legally obligated to register products or facilities with the FDA.
“Organic” cosmetics don’t fare well either. The FDA does not have a definition in law for organic, and the term is regulated by the National Organic Program. A product claiming to be “organic” must have 95 percent of its ingredients be organic. For the phrasing “made with organic ingredients” a 70 percent threshold needs to be met. Consumers cannot, and should not, rely on the FDA standards to understand what is really in the brilliantly lit mall counters, and drug-store aisles, or in their bathroom cupboards and handbags. The following are ingredients found in everyday products and the health risks associated with them.