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Organic Consumers Association

Top 10 Reasons to Use Organic Cosmetics

  • By Ronnie Cummins
    Organic Consumers Association, August 12, 2010

Non-Organic Cosmetics...

10. Fuel Oil Addiction
  • There's an oil spill leaking from U.S. bathrooms that's roughly the same size as the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. It's coming from the petrochemical-based cosmetics we're rubbing into our hair and skin and rinsing down the drain.
9. Spawn Superbugs
  • The widespread use of products containing the antibacterial agent triclosan is promoting the growth of dangerous superbugs.
  • The use of nanosilver will also lead to the development of antibiotic resistance among harmful bacteria.
8. Unleash Biocides
  • Nanosilver is a powerful biocide that can kill beneficial bacteria in the environment, especially in soil and water, creating an unacceptable toxicity risk to human health and the environment.
  • Biocidal nanosilver threatens bacteria-dependent natural processes. Beneficial bacteria are of vital importance to soil, plant and animal health. Soil bacteria fix nitrogen and breakdown organic matter. Denitrification bacteria play an important role in keeping waterways clean by removing nitrates from water contaminated by excessive fertilizer use. Bacteria in our guts allow humans and animals to digest food.
7. Make Drinking Water Deadly
  • Triclosan can react with chlorine in the tap water to create the carcinogen chloroform.
  • When sunlight is added to the already toxic triclosan-chlorine mix, dioxins are formed.
  • Dioxins are highly toxic persistent environmental pollutants that can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
  • Common household products such as shampoo can interact with disinfectants at U.S. wastewater treatment plants to form cancer-causing nitrosamines, which end up in drinking water.
6. Make Us Fat
  • Exposure to phthalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals found in perfumes, nail polish and other cosmetics, is linked to childhood obesity.
5. Speed Up Puberty
4. Increase Infertility
  • According to a report on the health risks of secret ingredients in fragrance, hormone-disrupting chemicals commonly found in perfumes may be a factor in infertility, which increased by 20 percent in American couples between 1995 and 2002.
3. Cause Birth Defects
  • Nail salon workers exposed to solvents without proper ventilation, face an increased risk for miscarriages and birth defects similar to fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Endocrine disruptors have been implicated in birth defects of the male reproductive system, such as undescended testicles and a penile deformity called hypospadias. Incidence of both conditions appears to have risen in recent decades.
  • Pregnant women with higher levels of phthalates commonly found in fragrances, shampoos, cosmetics and nail polishes are more likely to have children who display disruptive behavior years later.
2. Give Us Cancer
  • The President's Cancer Panel warns that nitrosamines found in cosmetics are implicated in brain & kidney cancer, phthalates found in cosmetics, hair conditioners, and fragrances, increase the risks of breast and testicular cancer, and nanomaterials found in cosmetics, personal care products and suncreens "can be extremely toxic."
  • 22% of all personal care products are contaminated with the cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane, including many children’s products.
1. Aren't Regulated or Safety Tested
  • The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to make cosmetics companies test products for safety or recall products that are found to be harmful.
  • The President's Cancer Panel recommends research on toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals in personal care products and cosmetics, noting that only 11 percent of the ingredients in these products have been tested for safety.

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