Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The dirt on makeup

In our buyer beware economy, cosmetics are up there with Chinese toys when it comes to pretty things that can be downright toxic. Like a lot of chicas, I like a good lipstick. But lead poisoning, not so much. Unfortunately that may be just what I'm getting with my petal pink lips.

Tomorrow night at 7 pm author Stacy Malkan comes to Longfellow Books in downtown Portland to read and sign her book "Not Just a Pretty Face." Here are some stats from Stacy:

The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful that they've kept themselves unregulated for decades.Not one cosmetic product has to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration before hitting the market. Incredible? Consider this:

  • The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics. The United States has banned just 10.
  • Only 11% of chemicals used in cosmetics in the US have been assessed for health and safety – leaving a staggering 89% with unknown or undisclosed effects.
  • More than 70% of all personal care products may contain phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility.
  • Many baby soaps are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane.
Thankfully, the news is not all bad. You can find clean cosmetics, with tools such as this handy dandy database.I'm sure she'll share more tips at the talk.

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