Thursday, July 29, 2010

Does This Make You Blush

Do you know who Jan Schakowsky is? You fuckin' should. She's a representative from Illinois who, on Tuesday, introduced a new bill to Congress that will require stricter regulations for beauty products. As you may know, Congress has not passed any legislation regarding the chemicals used in beauty products since the Cosmetics Safety Act of the 1930's. Many beauty products use small amounts of known carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.

Democracy Now! hosted a debate between Stacy Malkan, founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and John Bailey, industry scientist and spokesperson. I recommend listening to what they say about the issue. Bailey made an interesting point that the industry is actually backing the new legislation. I wonder to what extent. I wish he could've further explained how the industry justifies their attitude that, well, it's only a pinch of chemicals. There's only a small amount of lead in lipstick. Mr. Bailey, do you roll around in a little bit of poison ivy? Would you mind it if there was a little bit of poop in your drinking water? Think about this: if a pregnant woman isn't supposed to dye her hair (because the chemicals in the dye may harm the baby), why should anyone else use that same product?

My dear reader(s), is your definition of beauty yours and yours alone? How many products do you use per day and are those products actually doing what you want them to do? (I'll be the first to admit that my bathroom has at least four bottles of lotion in it, but my skin always seems to be dry). Do you really need to put acid in your hair, only to wash it away with an oil byproduct? I can't decide what's more upsetting, the fact that there are reproductive disruptors in beauty products or that these items are so needed that we accept small amounts of poison. Sure, these chemicals don't out and out cause cancer, but they are linked to it.

I leave you with two websites where you can go to to find out about the chemicals in your beauty products. The first, Cosmetics Info, is hosted by the Personal Care Products Council, the one that John Bailey sits on. The second, the Cosmetics Safety Database, is brought to us by the Environmental Working Group.


Susanna-Cole said...

I wear make-up, maybe once a month, (admittedly, I'm an untamed soul, and a believer in going au natural), use vinegar and beeswax in my hair, thought must confess I do use a commercial shampoo (should switch with baking soda, perhaps?). I began this because of the vagabond lifestyle I like, and because I don't always have access to any sorts of stores that can provide factory produced products. Nonetheless, plenty of folks I know, use beauty products that are most likely filled with toxic chemicals, and I'd be awfully angry to see them hurt because of the negligence of the industry, who mostly cares about making a quick buck.

This video is very enlightening, if not slightly frightening too ... really hope the new bill to Congress is pushed through!


Farrah Field said...

Thanks for writing. Did you know you can make your own toothpaste? I may try it. I'm nervous, but people have been doing this for years. I wonder where I could find an empty tube...