A new OCA study was released that assesses current levels of the petrochemical carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in leading conventional vs. “natural” and “organic” brands of personal care and household cleaning products. The results indicate some products mislabeled as “natural” should have a cancer warning. Read the full story.
Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble and Kimberley Clark are among a number of leading baby personal care manufacturers being taken to court over allegedly cancer-causing ingredients.
The class-action law suit was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (HBSS) on March 19 in the District Court of Chicago on behalf of ‘parents or other consumers who purchased any of an extensive list of products’, on the provision the court certifies the action.
The action is being filed as a result of a study conducted by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics (CSC), which tested a series of baby personal care products for the carcinogens formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. According to the study 82 percent of products contained at least 54 parts per million of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane – a level the body describes as ‘high’.
“Parents are frightened by these findings, and rightly so,” said Steve Berman, attorney representing the plaintiffs and managing partner of Seattle-based HBSS. “I can’t imagine any parent covering their infant with a baby lotion that lists ‘formaldehyde’ on the label along with ‘natural fragrance.’”
On the subject of formaldehyde, the PCPC says it is not added to cosmetics but rather released in very small doses by the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that are used.
On top of that, the US FDA and the Cosmetic Ingredients Review Expert Panel concluded that formaldehyde in cosmetics and personal care products is safe and should not exceed 2,000ppm when measured as free formaldehyde, which matches the European legislation on the chemical. CSC’s test of 28 products, which were chosen to be likely candidates for containing the chemical, showed 23 to contain between 54 and 610 ppm of formaldehyde.
Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” dozens of top-selling children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to the March 2009 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, “No More Toxic Tub.”
This study is the first to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in bath products for children, including baby shampoos, bubble baths and baby lotions. Many products tested contained both chemicals.
Findings: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned an independent laboratory to test 48 products for 1,4-dioxane; 28 of those products were also tested for formaldehyde. The lab found that:
17 of 28 products tested (61%) contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
23 of 28 products tested (82%) contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm).
32 of 48 products tested (67%) contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 to 35 parts per million (ppm).
Where They Come From
The chemicals were not disclosed on product labels because they’re contaminants, not ingredients, and therefore are exempt from labeling laws. Formaldehyde contaminates personal care products when common preservatives release formaldehyde over time in the container. Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea. 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of a chemical processing technique called ethoxylation, in which cosmetic ingredients are processed with ethylene oxide.
Manufacturers can easily remove the toxic byproduct, but are not required by law to do so. Common ingredients likely to be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane include PEG-100 stearate, sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20.
Read the full story: http://safecosmetics.org//article.php?id=414