California Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health publishes cosmetic chemical database

Friday, January 17, 2014 by: PF Louis
Tags: cosmetic products, chemical database, California Department of Public Health

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(NaturalNews) Well, "it's about time a state agency did something worthwhile" might be an appropriate expression for the California Department of Public Health's database website disclosing harmful chemicals in cosmetic products. Mainstream media outlets, such as the Bay Area's SF Gate and other online sites, have promoted the new website.

The California Safe Cosmetics Program (CSCP) collects this data and makes it available to the public through their website (http://www.safecosmeticsact.org).

The site clearly explains how to navigate its database by entering the product type or brand name. Its mission is to implement the California Safe Cosmetics Act by presenting cosmetic ingredients that are known or suspected carcinogenic, create birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The only information lacking is how much of those harmful ingredients are in each product.

So whether a specific product is toxic in the short term may be questionable. But most cosmetic products undergo long-term daily use. So that's mostly a moot point. SF Gate reports that "475 companies have submitted information about 30,000 products so far, and the chemicals in the database include phthalates, mercury and mercury compounds, toluene and formaldehyde, among other known toxicants."

A short test of the database website

Well, that's impressive. But my searches left me with zero items whenever I inputted aluminum, underarm deodorant or a few brand names of underarm deodorant. I guess this neurotoxin is not considered among their list of toxins. Or maybe since virtually all commercial underarm deodorants or antiperspirants contain aluminum, none of the manufacturers would submit it as an ingredient.

Then again, it could be that listing aluminum is taboo because it is in almost all vaccines. We can't upset the vaccine industry, can we? Under the entry "underarm deodorants" were several brands listed with either butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) or titanium dioxide and a few with other non-aluminum ingredients.

In my underarm deodorant search there were no brands listed that are commonly seen on TV commercials. It appears that not all cosmetic suppliers are even sending data to the CSCP site. Or maybe the CSCP is only concerned with carcinogenic or reproductive issue chemicals. They do have plenty of those listed on a list of toxins, but hardly any of those appear in product searches.

But when it comes to underarm deodorants, your best bet is to simply buy what labels are offered in health food stores that say "no aluminum." Actually, you're simply better off with less commercially advertised cosmetics, period.

An Avon lipstick search came up with only one and sometimes no ingredients reported. How could that be? Titanium dioxide, by the way, is used in many cosmetics and food items as a "filler." Also, not much came up with a list of shampoos when I entered "shampoos." Lots of unfamiliar brands, but not many ingredients. And hardly any familiar brands.

Okay, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to searching databases. And it's not a heck of a lot of fun or even fascinating unless I'm researching for an article to get specific information. So maybe my test wasn't so thorough.

You try it yourself. But since the CSCP database depends on cosmetic manufacturers for providing ingredients, how reliable and beneficial might it actually be? Getting a third-party lab arrangement for the vast number of cosmetic products could be too much for this program to ensure absolute integrity.

But at least the database's vast list of potentially harmful ingredients that could be in cosmetics may be helpful. But you would have to read the ingredients on the label or the product's site yourself.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.sfgate.com

http://www.safecosmeticsact.org

http://www.cdph.ca.gov

http://blogs.nicholas.duke.edu

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