The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which created a cosmetics database outlining and analyzing the ingredients in tens of thousands of personal care products, recently revealed that much of our lipstick is still lead-filled — a year after first releasing such shocking news.
If we’re screaming for change, nobody’s listening.
But that’s part of the problem: We’re not screaming. We’re barely uttering a ladylike peep. We should be outraged. We should be boycotting products that might promise us a beguiling smile — at the cost of our health.
Llipstick isn’t the only pretty-looking poison. Shall we talk about toxic nail polish? If there’s one thing that my three children (including my son!) love, it’s painted toenails. Call it our “family tartan.” Perhaps it’s that toes are such funny looking sausagey things, they deserve being decorated. Perhaps it’s because they are so abused — crammed into shoes and boots, expected to keep us balanced at all times — that they require pampering. Whatever the reason, we’re a family with wildly painted piggies. Who knew that such a simple act as polishing our tootsies could be so toxin-filled? What parent paints their children’s digits with formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate? What parent knows that these chemicals are linked to cancer and reproductive problems? What parent can pronounce them?
The latest culprits in personal care products are something called D4 and D5 siloxanes. You’ll find them in one out of seven products, says the EWG, such as lotions, hair-care products, soaps, cleaning products and … lipsticks. They’ve been linked to uterine tumors and reproductive damage in animals. What’s more, they persist for a long time in our environment and resist degrading — causing increasing concern that they pose a long-term risk to people and the planet.
Canada took the step of issuing a statement noting it is assessing these chemicals. The EPA, in what is increasingly characteristic inaction, has yet to comment.
But that’s where we consumers come in. Or should.
Let an international cry spring from our glossy lips demanding personal care products that not only make us look good, but ARE good — or at least aren’t harmful. Let’s not settle for anything less than the perfect shade of SAFE lipstick … not to mention nail polish.
To get involved, visit www.ewg.org/actioncenter