you believe that chemicals in products sold to consumers have been
chemicals in modern use have simply not been tested for their impacts
on human health, even very basic effects.
to a report by the Environmental Working Group, Beauty
pre-market safety testing or approval is required under any
federal law for chemicals in cosmetics, toys, clothing, carpets,
or construction materials, to name just a few obvious sources
of chemical exposure in everyday life. This little known fact
is the premeditated result of an orchestrated campaign by the
chemical industry to avoid testing and regulation of their products.
It largely explains why products like hair spray, hair dye,
pacifiers, stain repellants, glues and children's toys get on
the market, only to be found to contain highly toxic compounds
at unsafe levels after decades of widespread use."
tests have been carried out, they usually are far too simplistic
to anticipate many important health effects.
graph shows the percentage of high production chemicals made
in America that have never been tested for different health
effects. Most have not been tested.
example, many cosmetics including nail polish, eye glitter and anti-perspirants,
including types of phthalates that are known reproductive toxicants.
growing number of studies with animals have discovered that modest
fetal exposure to one or more of several phthalates causes reproductive
birth defects --including males with feminized reproductive systems--
but there are virtually no epidemiological studies examining the
impacts of exposure to phthalates on the reproductive systems of
people exposed in the womb.
on the animal studies, the safest prediction is that they will cause
problems for people, too. But industry claims that because there
are no data proving harm, there are no effects. What is really a
proof of ignorance they claim instead is proof of safety.
argument is superficially more plausible than that. They point to
the fact that some phthalates have been in use for decades. They
argue that were they not safe, we would have discovered their risks
by now. But the reality is that no study has ever looked at the
effects of exposure in the womb to phthalates on subsequent reproductive
health during adulthood, or indeed many other plausible health endpoints,
exactly the sort of studies that would be necessary to lay to rest
concerns raised by the animal studies.
heightening those concerns, the Centers for Disease Control has
discovered that women of child-bearing age are the most likely
of Americans to have high concentrations of phthalates in their
Secrets, by the Environmental Working Group, revealed that
the source of these phthalates is likely to be cosmetics. The CDC's
study did not sample children, but many of these products are intended
for use by children.
more information on the myth that the current approach to chemical
testing establishes their safety, visit The
Chemical Industry Archives.