The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of the BCPP, is a broad-based national coalition of nonprofit organizations whose mission it is to protect the health of consumers by securing reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health effects.
The research project was triggered by scientific literature and prior product testing indicating chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption and other adverse effects were used heavily in beauty, personal care and cleaning products.
However, despite research evidence, there continues to be a lack of legislatively mandated labeling requirements, leaving consumers uninformed of the dangers in products they bring into their homes every day. For this test, BCPP and their partners purchased 140 different beauty, personal care and cleaning products for testing.
Of particular concern were products marketed to children, women of color and products marketed by celebrities as “good for the environment” or “green.” One of the more concerning results was that many of the personal care products tested contained more hazardous chemicals than the cleaning products.
Millions of dollars and countless hours of lobbying have been poured into the industry’s fight against legislatively mandated ingredient disclosure. Fragrance is a big business as they are used in personal care products and cleaning products.
The value of the North American flavor and fragrance market is nearly $6 billion and forecast to reach $7.42 billion by 2020.
The fragrance industry has nearly 4,000 fragrance chemicals at its disposal, which companies are not mandated to disclose. BCPP hired two independent third-party testing laboratories. The first assessed volatile organic compounds and the other performed two-dimensional gas chromatography on a subset of 32 products, including shampoo, deodorant, multipurpose cleaners and lotions.
There was an average of 136 chemicals in the cleaning products and an average of 146 in personal care products. The team then compared the product name against the type of chemicals triggering hormone disruption, asthma, developmental toxins and cancer.
From this data they ranked the top 10 products with the most hazardous chemicals in terms of the highest number linked to these health effects. The products making the top 10 dangerous products directly from the BCPP report were…