FDA Regulations Permit Toxins in Cosmetics

Thursday, February 05, 2009 by: Jo Hartley
Tags: cosmetics, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) The FDA Handbook is the standard for regulations in the US regarding the manufacture of food and drugs, including cosmetic and skin care products. It is interesting to learn that this handbook actually allows the use of known harmful ingredients in the creation of cosmetic and skin care products.

In fact, almost any ingredient is permissible in cosmetics and body care products, as evidenced by these quotes from the FDA Handbook:

"With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may, on his own responsibility, use essentially any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without approval."

"Although not prohibited by law or regulation, in addition, the manufacturers of cosmetic fragrance products have voluntarily agreed to not use or to limit maximum use levels of certain selected ingredients which have been found to cause depigmentation, irritant, neurotoxic, or phototoxic or other allergic reactions."

Mercury is permissible in cosmetics and other products, even though mercury is easily absorbed through the skin and will accumulate in the body. Mercury in any form is extremely toxic. Mercury poisoning can result from inhalation, ingestion, injection, or absorption through the skin.

"The use of mercury compounds as cosmetic ingredients is limited to eye area cosmetics at concentrations not exceeding 65 parts per million of mercury calculated as the metal (about 100 ppm or 0.01% phenylmercuric acetate or nitrate) and provided no other effective and safe preservative is available for use."

Nitrosamines are known carcinogens. Nevertheless, the FDA permits their use. Amines and their derivatives are typically present in creams, lotions, shampoos and hair conditioners. The nitrosation may occur during manufacture or during product storage.

"Cosmetics containing as ingredients amines or amino derivatives, particularly di- or triethanolamine, may form nitrosamines if they also contain an ingredient which acts as a nitrosating agent as, for example, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bronopol, Onyxide 500), 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane (Bronidox C) or tris(hydroxymethyl)nitromethane (Tris Nitro), or if they are contaminated with anitrosating agent, e.g., sodium nitrite."

Dioxane is also permissible in products by the FDA. Dioxane irritates the eyes and mucous membranes. Prolonged exposure is considered toxic to the liver and kidneys.

"Cosmetics containing as ingredients ethoxylated surface active agents, i.e., detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and certain solvents identifiable by the prefix, word or syllable 'PEG', 'Polyethylene', 'Polyethylene glycol', 'Polyoxyethylene', '- eth-', or '-oxynol-', may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. It may be removed from ethoxylated compounds by means of vacuum stripping at the end of the polymerization process without an unreasonable increase in raw material cost. In rodent feeding studies conducted for the National Cancer Institute, 1,4-dioxane was found to produce cancer of the liver and the nasal turbinates. It also caused systemic cancer in a skin painting study. Skin absorption studies demonstrated that dioxane readily penetrates animal and human skin from various types of vehicles."

Of note is the fact that it has been determined that when products containing dioxane are applied to the skin, most of the dioxane evaporates into the air and may not be actually absorbed into the skin. Many products analyzed have been found to contain dioxane. Some products contain as much as 100 ppm.

Source: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-prd.html

About the author

Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living

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