Thursday, November 8, 2007

the death grin in our shampoo and deodorant

I'll Have My Cosmetics With a Side of Infertility, Please
By Heather Gehlert, AlterNet.
25 Oct 2005

Author Stacy Malkan reveals the dangerous truth about everyday products we put in our hair and on our skin.

Carcinogens in cosmetics? Petrochemicals in perfume? If only this were an urban legend. Unfortunately, it's a toxic reality, and it's showing up in our bodies.

In 2004, scientists found pesticides in the blood of newborn babies. A year later, researchers discovered perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, in human breast milk. Today, people are testing positive for a litany of hazardous substances from flame retardants to phthalates to lead.

In her new book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Stacy Malkan exposes the toxic chemicals that lurk, often unlabeled, in the personal care products that millions of American women, men and children use every day.

AlterNet spoke with Malkan about these toxins and her five-year effort with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to get the beauty industry to remove them from its products.

Heather Gehlert: There are so many environmental issues you could've written a book about. Why cosmetics?
Stacy Malkan: I think cosmetics is something that we're all intimately connected to. They're products that we use every day, and so I think it's a good first place to start asking questions. What kinds of products are we bringing into our homes? What kinds of companies are we giving our money to?

It has something pretty interesting in common with global warming too.

It does. I think of it as global poisoning. I think that the ubiquitous contamination of the human species with toxic chemicals is a symptom of the same problem (as global warming), which is an economy that's based on outdated technologies of petrochemicals -- petroleum. So many of the products we're applying to our faces and putting in our hair come from oil. They're byproducts of oil.

Many cosmetic products on the market right now claim they are pure, gentle, clean and healthy. But, as you reveal in this book, they're far from it. Toxic chemicals in these products are showing up in people. What were some of the most surprising toxins you discovered in cosmetics?

Lead in lipstick was pretty surprising. We (the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics) just released that report last week. Many personal care products have phthalates, which is a plasticizer and hormone disruptor. That's why we started the cosmetics campaign -- because we know that women have higher levels of phthalates in their bodies, and we thought that cosmetics might be a reason. But, I think overall, the most surprising thing was to know that there's so much that we don't know about these products. Many, many chemicals are hiding in fragrance. Companies aren't required to list the components of fragrance. Products also are contaminated with carcinogens like 1,4 dioxane and neurotoxins like lead that aren't listed on the label. So it's difficult for consumers to know what we're using.

As a consumer I just want to know what ingredients to avoid, but you say in the book, protecting myself is not as simple as that. Why not?

There are no standards or regulations like there are in, for example, the food industry, where if you buy organic food or food labeled "natural," there's a set of standards and legal definitions that go behind those words. We might like to see those be stronger, but nevertheless, there are meaningful legal definitions. That's not the case in the personal care product industry, where companies often use words like "organic" and "natural" to market products that are anything but. And some of the most toxic products we've found actually had the word "natural" in their name, like natural nail strengtheners that are made with formaldehyde.

Generally speaking, risk assessment involves two factors: a hazard and people's exposure to that hazard. Could you explain some of the unique challenges to assessing risks with cosmetics?

That's a good question. Risk assessment is an extremely oversimplified way of pretending we have enough information to know how much chemicals we can tolerate in our bodies. A risk assessment equation will say, "How hazardous is a chemical, how much are we exposed to it from this one product, and is that harmful?" There's a lot of information left out of that picture: studies that haven't been done to determine impacts on fetuses, the fact that we're exposed to so many of these chemicals in so many places every day, and the fact there have been no -- or very few -- studies about chemical mixtures.

In chapter 2, you say that toxic cosmetics should raise concern for men too, regardless of whether they use any themselves. How so?

Well, men do, first of all, use personal care products. When I ask a group of people what products they've used today, the men will be keeping their hands down and eventually, reluctantly, raising their hands because they're using shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, cologne, lotion...
 
 

Google
 

image from http://www.spitting-image.net

Favorite Links

~325~ ~9-11...Who Really Did It~ ~10:10~ ~10 Zen Monkeys~ ~911 Truth~ ~13 Indigenous Grandmothers~ ~15O~ ~15th October~ ~Activist Post~ ~ACT UP~ ~Adbusters~ ~Aerogaz (greek)~ ~Afinity Project~ ~Aging Hipsters~ ~Alecto's Ophelia~ ~Al-Jazeera~ ~Alex Constantine's Blacklist~ ~Alliance for Human Research Protection~ ~All Things Cynthia McKinney~ ~All Things Pakistan~ ~Alternative Insight~ ~Alternative Press Review~ ~Alternet~ ~American Friends Service Committee~ ~American Street~ ~Anarkismo~ ~Andy Worthington~ ~Anglican Pacifist Fellowship~ ~Anomaly News Syndicate~ ~Another Day In The Empire~ ~AntiWar~ ~Antiwar League~ ~Anxiety Culture~ ~Appeal For Redress From The War In Iraq~ ~A Poetic Justice~ ~Artists Without Frontiers~ ~Art of Europe~ ~Arts And Letters Daily~ ~Attack the System~ ~Athens IMC~ ~Ballardian~ ~Bilderberg.org~ ~Black Box Voting~ ~BlackListed News~ ~Black Vault~ ~Blog Bioethics net~ ~Blog of the Unknown Writer~ ~Blondsense~ ~Boiling Frog~ ~Boiling Frogs Post~ ~BoingBoing~ ~Book Ninja~ ~Bookslut~ ~Bradley Manning Support Network~ ~Brand New Law~ ~Brainsturbator~ ~Bring Them Home Now~ ~Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing~ ~Buckminster Fuller Institute~ ~Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists~ ~Bureau of Public Secrets~ ~Business & Human Rights Resource Centre~ ~Buzzflash~ ~Campaign For Real Farming~ ~Catapult the Propaganda~ ~Campus Antiwar Network~ ~Cargo Culte~ ~Castan Centre for Human Rights Law~ ~Catch of the Day~ ~Censorship Paradise~ ~Center for Media and Democracy~ ~Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan~ ~Centre for Research and Action for Peace~ ~Center on Law and Security~ ~Chapati Mystery~ ~Choike~ ~Chomsky.info~ ~Chronicle of Higher Education~ ~Church of the FSM~ ~CIA & Drugs~ ~Citizens for Legitimate Government~ ~Citizens for Tax Justice~ ~Clandestina~ ~CODEPINK~ ~Coilhouse mag~ ~Collateral Murder~ ~Common Dreams~ ~Complete 9/11 Timeline~ ~Concerned Africa Scholars~ ~Connexions~ ~Conspiracy Archive~ ~Contra Info~ ~Corrente~ ~COTO Report~ ~Coup d'Etat in America~ ~Countercurrents~ ~Crapaganda~ ~Create Real Democracy~ ~Creative-i~ ~Crimes of the State~ ~CrimethInc~ ~Crisis Group~ ~Critical Legal Thinking~ ~Cronache da Mileto (Italian)~ ~Crooks and Liars~ ~Crowd Modelling~ ~Cryptoforestry~ ~Cryptome~ ~Cyclos~ ~Culture Change~ ~Cutting Through The Matrix~ ~Cyrano's Journal~ ~Daily What~ ~Damn Interesting~ ~Dangerous Minds~ ~Deliberative Democracy Consortium~ ~Democracy Center~ ~Democracy Journal~ ~Democracy Now~ ~Democratic Underground~ ~Detournement~ ~Digital Rights [greek lang.]~ ~Diplomacy Lessons~ ~Direct Power!~ ~Discoveries-Researchings-Visions-Understandings-Enlightenments~ ~Disinformation~ ~DistributorCap NY~ ~Dr Hugo Heyrman-Motions of the Mind~ ~Dylanology~ ~EAGAINST~ ~Earthnocentric~ ~Eco Tort~ ~Ectoplasmosis!~ ~Educate Yourself~ ~E-Flux~ ~Electronic Frontier Foundation~ ~Electronic Intifada~ ~Eliminate War Forever~ ~End Evil~ ~Energy Bulletin~ ~Eradicating Ecocide~ ~EROCx1 Blog~
~Europeanrevolution~ ~European Revolution~ ~Eurozine~ ~Exposing the Truth~ ~Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond~ ~Families of the Fallen for Change~ ~Fellowship of Reconciliation~ ~Financial Armageddon~ ~FKN Newz~ ~Food For Your Eyes~ ~Forward the Revolution~ ~Franchot's Band~ ~Free Bloggers in Greece~ ~Free Expression Network~ ~Free Press International~ ~Freethinking for Dummies~ ~Free Thought Manifesto~ ~From the Wilderness~ ~F-t-W's Peak Oil Blog~ ~G1000~ ~Ghostdancing in Venice~ ~GIMP~ ~Gilles Duley~ ~Global Guerillas~ ~Global Integrity~ ~Global Policy Forum~ ~Global Revolution~ ~Global Security Institute~ ~Global Voices Online~ ~Gold Star Families for Peace~ ~Government Dirt~ ~Greek Alert [greek lang.]~ ~Greek Assembly in London~ ~Green Left Weekly~ ~Groklaw~ ~Hack Democracy~ ~Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy~ ~Hiroshima Peace Institute~ ~History Is A Weapon Blog~ ~How Appealing~ ~How To Vanish~ ~Human Rights Law Review~ ~I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy!~ ~Idler~ ~Impropaganda~ ~Independent Media Center~ ~INIREF~ ~Institute for Media Peace and Security~ ~International Action Center~ ~International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)~ ~In These Times~ ~Information Clearing House~ ~Information Liberation~ ~Infoshop~ ~Institute for Policy Studies~ ~Institute for War and Peace Reporting~ ~Insurgent American~ ~Intel Hub~ ~International Labor Rights Forum~ ~Intrinsic Impact~ ~Invisible History~ ~Iraq Citizens Against the War~ ~Iraq Freedom Congress~ ~Iraq Veterans Against the War~ ~Irish Peace Institute~ ~Issues and Alibis~ ~James Howard Kunstler~ ~Jesus Radicals~ ~John Zerzan~ ~Jorgen Schäfer's Homepage~ ~JUST~ ~Just For The Love Of It~ ~Justice Not Vengeance~ ~Kasama Project~ ~Keep Talking Greece~ ~Kia Mistilis~ ~Kill Me If You Can by Bob Miller~ ~Killer Coke~ ~Labor Rights~ ~Labor Rights Now~ ~Labour Start~ ~Lava Cocktail~ ~Lemon Gloria~ ~Lemony Snicket~ ~L'ennui mélodieux~ ~Lessig~ ~Liberation Theology~ ~Libertarians for Peace~ ~Life After the Oil Crash~ ~Life & Peace Institute~ ~Lunch Street Party~ ~Lycaeum~ ~Links by George~ ~Literary Kicks~ ~Lubinproductions~ ~MacNN~ ~Mad Cow Morning News~ ~Manageable Ants~ ~Mario Profaca's Cyberspace Station~ ~Maro Kouri~ ~Maud Newton~ ~May it Please the Court~ ~McSpotlight~ ~Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture~ ~Metta Center for Nonviolence~ ~Metanoia~ ~Michael Moore - Must Read~ ~Mind Control~ ~Military Families Speak Out~ ~Mind in Peace (greek)~ ~Miss Welby~ ~MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence~ ~Molly's Blog~ ~Mother Jones~ ~MungBeing Magazine~ ~MyAntiwar.org~ ~n +1 mag~ ~National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee~ ~Natural Farming~ ~Neatorama~ ~Neuromarketing~ ~Neurosecurity~ ~New Internationalist~ ~News Dissector~ ~News Frames~ ~News Making News~ ~News Now~ ~New Tactics in Human Rights~ ~New World Dawning~ ~NEXUS~ ~NFAK~ ~Nomadic Academy Of Fools~ ~Non Fides~ ~Noor Images~ ~Not In Our Name~ ~Not Stupid~ ~Nuclear Resister~ ~NUTOPIA2~ ~[Occupy] 2012 Scenario~ ~Occupy America Social Network~ ~OCCUPY Cafe~ ~Occupy Istanbul~ ~Occupy Together~ ~Occupy Together Field Manual~ ~OWS~ ~Occupy Writers~ ~October 2011~ ~Odious Debts~ ~ODYS~ ~Olmaz~ ~On the Path to 2012~ ~Op Ed News~ ~Open Letters to George W. Bush from his ardent admirer,Belacqua Jones~ ~Open Revolt!~ ~Open Source Ecology~ ~Orthodox Peace Fellowship~ ~Orwell Today~ ~Outlaw Journalism~ ~OWNI~ ~Patriots Question 9/11~ ~Peace in Mind (greek)~ ~PeaceJam~ ~Peace Now~ ~Peaceful Tomorrows~ ~Peak Moment~ ~People's Assemblies Network~ ~Peter Frase~ ~Photography is Not a Crime~ ~Picture the Homeless~ ~Pieman~ ~Places the U.S. has bombed~ ~Pogo Was Right - privacy news~ ~Political Reform.ie~ ~Post Carbon Institute~ ~Praxis Peace Institute~ ~Primate Poetics~ ~Prisoner Solidarity~ ~Professors question 9/11~ ~Project Camelot~ ~Project Censored~ ~Project for the Old American Century~ ~Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy~ ~Psyche, Science and Society~ ~Psychogeography~ ~Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility~ ~Radical Anthropology~ ~Rainbow Family~ ~RawStory~ ~Reality Sandwich~ ~Real Democacy GR~ ~Real Democracy Now.net~ ~Rebel Dog~ ~Reflections on a Revolution~ ~Reporters Without Borders~ ~Re-public~ ~Resistance Studies Magazine~ ~Resource Based Economy Foundation~ ~Re-volt Radio~ ~Richard Heinberg's Museletter~ ~Rockefeller's War on Drugs~ ~Ruckus Society~ ~Sacred Texts~ ~Salon~ ~Save Orphan Works~ ~Scholars and Rogues~ ~Scoop~ ~SCOTUS Blog~ ~Secrecy News~ ~Service Academy Graduates Against the War~ ~Shadow Government Statistics~ ~Signs of the Times News~ ~Slovenia Peace Institute~ ~Smirking Chimp~ ~smygo~ ~SNU Project~ ~Soil And Health Library~ ~SourceWatch~ ~Speaking Truth to Power~ ~Spirit Horse Foundation~ ~Spunk~ ~Squattastic~ ~Starhawk~ ~Stockholm International Peace Research Institute~ ~StopCartel TV-GR~ ~Stop The Arms Fair~ ~Stop the Spying.org~ ~Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness~ ~Students Against War~ ~Survival Acres~ ~Survival International~ ~Swan's Commentary~ ~Take The Square~ ~Tangible Information~ ~Tax Justice Network~ ~Tax Research UK~ ~Theatre of the Oppressed~ ~The Black Commentator~ ~The Black Vault~ ~The Borowitz Report~ ~The Carpetbagger Report~ ~The Center for Public Integrity~ ~The Daily Reckoning~ ~The Dark Age Blog~ ~The Digger Archives~ ~The End of Being~ ~The Guardian~ ~The Hidden Evil~ ~The Huffington Post~ ~The Intelligence Daily~ ~The Lazy Man's Guide To Enlightenment~ ~The Mountain Sentinel~ ~The Nation~ ~The National Security Archive~ ~The New Z-Land Project~ ~The Other Israel~ ~The Pathology Guy~ ~The Progress Report~ ~The Progressive Magazine~ ~The Real News~ ~The Situation Room~ ~The Truth Seeker~ ~ The Watcher Files~ ~Think Progress~ ~Third World Traveller~ ~This Land Is Ours~ ~This Modern World~ ~TomDispatch~ ~Total Collapse~ ~Total Dick-Head~ ~Transform!~ ~Transnational Institute~ ~Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research~ ~True Democracy~ ~Troops Out Now~ ~True Democracy Party~ ~Truthdig~ ~Truth News~ ~Truthout~ ~TW3 and fotografia la dolce vita~ ~Uncommon Thought~ ~United for Peace & Justice~ ~United States Institute of Peace~ ~Unknown News~ ~UNPA Campaign~ ~Urbanibalism~ ~US Labor Against the War~ ~VBS TV~ ~Veterans Against the Iraq War~ ~Veterans for Peace and Justice~ ~Video Rebel's Blog~ ~Vietnam Veterans Against the War~ ~Virusmyth - Rethinking AIDS~ ~visionOntv~ ~Voices for Creative Non-Violence~ ~Void Network~ ~Voice Memo~ ~Voters for Peace~ ~Waging Nonviolence~ ~Waking the Midnight Sun~ ~Want To Know~ ~War Costs~ ~War Crimes and Military Improprieties~ ~War Criminals Watch~ ~War on Society~ ~War is Illegal~ ~War Resisters International~ ~War Resisters League~ ~Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?~ ~Watergate Exposed~ ~West Point Graduates Against The War~ ~What Really Happened~ ~What’s On My Food?~ ~Why Work? Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery~ ~Wikileaks~ ~WikiLeaks Central~ ~Wild Wild Left~ ~willyloman~ ~Winning Cancer~ ~Win Without War~ ~Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)~ ~Wonkette~ ~World Prout Assembly~ ~Worldwide Hippies~ ~Yes Lab~ ~Yippie Museum~ ~Young Protester~ ~Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR)~ ~Zapatistas~ ~Zine Library~ ~Zippy Elder-at-Large~ ~ZMag~
~ Thank you for visiting Circle of 13 ~

FAIR USE NOTICE

This blog may contain videos with copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.