Hair salon straightening treatments can cause a host of health problems. So why hasn’t the FDA taken action? (Photo: Getty Images)Read More
It was a night to remember for sure. Happy faces, curious minds. Here are some memories from the evening compliments of Brook Bertschy Photography.
Have questions? Don't know where to start making changes? I am here to help you navigate. I would love to hear from you! Today is the day.
You know THAT smell. Really. THAT smell is ANY smell these days. With holidays on the horizon, pumpkin, evergreen, Christmas tree, gingerbread, cranberry and peppermint fragrances are in full force. Your air fresheners, candles, incense, dryer sheets, personal care products. Even your dishwashing detergent is "scented". Synthetic fragrances are everywhere.
The words "fragrance" and "parfum" are always "no-no's". They represent an undisclosed mixture of various chemicals and ingredients that are known to cause human harm. Don't be fooled by the words "natural, organic and pure" either. Your product may contain an organic or natural ingredient but that doesn't mean other harmful chemicals are not lurking in your products.
Our skin is our largest organ. What goes ON our skin goes IN our bodies. Toxins are absorbed by the skin (and the nose), taken-up by the lymphatic system, then move into the blood stream and eventually the liver.
Take a minute to look at the ingredient list on your products. Listed below are 3 ingredients that should NEVER be allowed in any of our products.
- Parabens: Synthetic preservatives known to interfere with hormone production and release.
- Phthalates: Another synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, birth defects) and liver and kidney damage.
- Synthetic musks: These are linked to hormone disruption and are thought to persist and accumulate in breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood, and the environment.
Need help? I am always here to lend a helping hand.
In the meantime, be curious. Don't assume.
Even more curious? Look for the movie Stink! in theaters soon. Read the Director's Statement here:
"I used to be ignorant about the Cancer Loophole. I thought that if a product was on the shelf in a store, that meant it was safe. I naively believed that if a product contained dangerous, toxic ingredients, ingredients that could cause cancer, that product would be banned.
In making “Stink!” over the past three years, I have learned that companies don’t need to disclose whether products contain chemicals that cause cancer or disrupt hormones, even chemicals that could interfere with a child’s growth, or cause reproductive problems. Certainly we can all agree that American consumers should have the right to choose whether they want to be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer, or birth defects, or reproductive harm? Apparently not.
By keeping the ingredients secret, companies are taking away our ability to make informed choices. In other words, we don’t even have the right to choose whether we want to be exposed to a carcinogen. Companies using unsafe ingredients get to choose for us. And that’s why I made a documentary called “Stink!” – because no one should be ignorant about the Cancer Loophole. Americans need to know that our system to regulate chemicals stinks!" -John Whelan, Director and Producer Stink!
Know Better. Do Better.
Dangerous chemicals in cosmetics spur action by lawmakers
Americans spend more than $50 billion every year on beauty and skin care products. But there's growing concern that some of the products we use to look good actually could be causing harm.
Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers and industry leaders says that has got to change, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.
"It's because of the addition of some chemicals - chemicals for staying power, chemicals for shine," said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is leading a bipartisan effort in Congress to give the FDA more power to ensure skin and beauty products are safe. "Our laws should provide for adequate testing of chemicals before they go into widely used products."
Cosmetics and skin care products are largely unregulated. Today's products are made with chemicals like formaldehyde -- used in products from nail polish to some chemical hair straighteners - which is known to cause cancer. Other commonly used cosmetic preservatives include propylparaben and lead acetate, used in hair dye.
Under the proposed law, the FDA would test whether those chemicals are being used at safe levels. If not, they can force a recall.
Doctors say it's long overdue, not only for adults, but for teenagers, whose developing bodies are more at risks.
"Ignorance is not bliss," said dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, who said she treats patients weekly for adverse reactions to chemicals in beauty products.
"We are just assuming all of our hair care, skin care, and our personal care products are safe," said Dr. Tanzi. "Well, I think we really need to look very closely at some of these ingredients because we know that at higher concentrations they can be toxic."
Tanzi says the biggest offenders are hair products, especially straighteners, and newer nail polishes that last more than a week - all largely unregulated.
That's not the story in other countries. The European Union bans more than 1,000 chemicals from personal care products. Of those, the U.S. bans 11. Gregg Renfrew said the lack of oversight led her to start Beautycounter, a natural beauty products company.
"I think the beauty industry is the last industry that's been forced to clean up its act," Renfrew said.
She was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to urge Congress to pass the tougher new legislation.
"Things that I've been washing my babies in, things that I had been putting on my body while I was pregnant, things that I had been putting on my body for decades, to find out that those ingredients were not safe for my health was incredibly disappointing and scary, quite frankly," Renfrew said.
Feinstein said she expects the bill to pass -- not only are legislators on both sides of the aisle supporting it, but so too is the industry. She said the companies also want to know what's safe and what's not, and that consumers and beauty salons deserve to know.
© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
KNOW BETTER. DO BETTER.
So, you are here.
I am so glad you decided to be curious. Or maybe you are here to dig deeper. Whatever the reason, you are in the right place. Let's take baby steps. I want to make this as easy as possible.
Your journey starts now with a single step.
Meet your new best friend The NEVERLIST. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Put a copy in your wallet. Save it to your desktop. The NEVERLIST is a condensed version of the 1500+ chemicals you should NEVER allow in ANY of your products. For now, don't worry about what these chemicals do. Just know that they are the not acceptable. Not now. NEVER!
Be curious. Open your cabinets and bathroom drawers. What did you find?
Let the journey begin.