Shoppers Cautioned Against Poisoning With Holiday Gifts

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 General News
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PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 8 Imagine stuffing a loved one's stocking with skin rash, anaphylactic shock, hormonal disruption and carcinogens.

It sounds crazy, but well-intentioned shoppers do it to the people they love every year. As Americans have become more careful than ever about things like the food we eat, the paint we use on our walls and the way we dispose of our consumer waste, most are still at substantial risk from the cosmetic beauty products we use on a daily basis.

A newly formed non-profit group in Portland, OR, the Preservative-Free Cosmetics Alliance, warns holiday shoppers to carefully read the labels on traditional holiday stocking stuffers like makeup, moisturizers, lip balm and hair dye.

"Studies show that Americans on average use 10 to 15 health and beauty products on their skin daily," said PFCA Chairperson Mara Woloshin. "The Unites States has a shockingly relaxed position about what government regulators allow cosmetic manufacturers to include in products that promise health benefits for consumers. It's up to shoppers to realize what common product ingredients can be serious health threats for users, and shop smart."

Online resources can help holiday shoppers avoid the most dangerous chemicals. Topping the list of cosmetic ingredients to be aware of are preservatives like triclosan, parabens and formaldehyde. These chemicals have been found responsible for everything from allergic reactions to hormone disruption in teens, and formaldehyde is a known carcinogen banned for use in cosmetics by several other countries.

For more information about how to shop safe products this holiday season, check out the following resources:

The PFCA is a group of concerned citizens working on a national effort to educate consumers about the potential dangers of preservatives in various consumer cosmetics. For more information, find them on Facebook or email mara@woloshin.com or mara@preservativefreelife.com for information on how to get involved or share your consumer story with the PFCA.

For more information contact PFCA Chair Mara Woloshin, 503-241-3834 or mara@woloshin.com

-- National Geographic's "The Green Guide" (http://www.thegreenguide.com) -- Environmental Working Group's Shoppers' Guide to Safe Cosmetics (http://www.ewg.org) -- The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (http://www.safecosmetics.org) -- CosmeticsDataBase.com (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com) -- Environmental Risks and Breast Cancer Project from Vassar College (http://erbc.vassar.edu)

SOURCE Preservative-Free Cosmetics Alliance


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