The good news is that there is now increasing awareness about the risks to health due to the toxins and harmful chemical ingredients in the skin care products. Sensing the growing public choice for safer cosmetics and skin care products, Wall Mart and Target recently announced that they would be banning certain chemicals from their branded products.
The Canadian group “Environmental Defense”, in its latest report “Full Disclosure” has also highlighted the fact that the consumers in Canada would be more receptive to complete ingredient listings on cosmetic and household products. The group’s initiative is aimed at ensuring that consumer products do not contain toxins. It recommends more stringent product labeling because the Canadians deserve stronger labeling rules that enable them to avoid toxic chemicals.
Most people in the U.S. are not aware of the pervasiveness of hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals in consumer products and the general lack of adequate government oversight of products and their ingredients. Some companies capitalize on this through use of undefined or misleading labels and claims – such as “green” and “organic” that don’t necessarily reflect actual reduced toxic chemical use in personal care and other fragranced products.
Average consumer often finds it hard to know if products advertised with safer ingredient claims are actually safer, given that many chemicals have not been thoroughly studied and hazardous chemicals are often replaced with structurally similar or other untested alternatives. This isn’t of course to say that the marketplace shouldn’t be targeting for removal of chemicals of known concern (that’s a good thing!), but as those chemicals are removed, their replacements need to be demonstrably safer.
FDA should consider revising the packaging labels of the skin care products so that manufacturers are obliged to avoid potentially hazardous ingredients, and the consumers provided with reliable information to enable them to determine the nature of the ingredients in the personal care products.