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Cosmetic Solutions: The Makeup Industry Gives Itself a Health Hazard Makeover

Breast cancer. Genital abnormalities. Distortion and damage of genetic material.    
Common ingredients in cosmetic products have been linked to these hazards. As further research is conducted into the long-term and cumulative effects on cosmetics users, their children and the water supply that products are washed off into, more questions arise. Not that you'd know it by listening to the cosmetics industry.  An important underlying issue is that the industry is largely self-regulated. While interstate trade in "adulterated or misbranded cosmetics" is prohibited, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review new cosmetics before they are marketed and cannot order recalls of hazardous cosmetics. "Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients," reads the FDA's own explanation.    
The industry's trade group, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA), likes this hands-off approach. CTFA has 600 member companies, including Aveda, Clairol, L'Oréal and Unilever, and standing committees on government relations, public affairs and international issues. Its website says CTFA promotes "industry self-regulation and reasonable governmental requirements." But reasonable to who? For the rest of this story, visit: