The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

July 28, 2010

In my recent post about ‘The Story of Cosmetics’ video, I mentioned the video was a collaboration between activist Annie Leonard and her team – The Story of Stuff Project, and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I figured this would be a good time to talk about The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, because I have not done that yet.

“The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition effort launched in 2004 to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.” It is a coalition of women’s, public health, labor, environmental health and consumer-rights organizations. Founding members include: Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Fund, Environmental Working Group, and National Environmental Trust, among others.

Nearly 150 organizations have endorsed The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics platform, indicating their support for the Campaign’s goal: government regulation over the cosmetics industry and safer personal care products for people and the planet. A few of the endorsing organizations include Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, American Nurses Association, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Health Fund, Greenpeace, Institute for a Sustainable Future, National Womens Health Network, Organic Consumers Association, and the Women’s Health & Justice Initiative. Clearly a lot of organizations believe in their cause!

The Campaign has made numerous strides in their goal of ensuring cosmetic products are safe. They have gotten some major cosmetics companies, including L’Oreal and Revlon, to agree to remove toxic ingredients that are banned in Europe, from cosmetics sold in the U.S.[1] They got a few major nail polish companies, including OPI, to remove three very toxic ingredients from their polish – formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate.[2] They even got over 1,500 companies to sign their Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which is a pledge to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives.[3] And this is not even a complete list of all they’ve accomplished!

For more information on The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and to view the complete list of ‘Campaign Victories & History’, visit their website. (


References: [1][2][3]

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2 Responses to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

  1. Rihana Max says:

    The potential for chemical reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill should mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods. We need to ensure that chemical testing is in line with the 21st century and relies on modern, human cell and computer-based methods that provide accurate data on how a chemical acts and what the impact on human health may be.

    • Katherine says:

      I completely agree. I am opposed to animal testing. My daughter actually just did a report against animal experimentation at school, and in her research learned that drugs effect some animals different from others, and animals different than humans. For ex, penicillin kills guinea pigs, but is inactive in rabbits, and then is fine in (most) humans, so animal testing doesn’t even guarantee the same results anyway!

      On Peta’s website she learned about these alternatives: human tissue & cell-based research methods, cadavers, protein membranes, sophisticated high-fidelity human patient simulators, & computational models, which are “more reliable, more precise, less expensive, and more humane than animal experiments.” The alternatives are there, now it’s just a matter of getting people on board.

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