Taking Stock: How the cosmetics industry ranks on toxic chemicals

When it comes to toxic chemicals and the cosmetics industry, which companies are making progress and which ones are falling behind?

Environmental Defence ranked the Big 5 cosmetics companies in Canada against each other based on the following criteria:

1. Whether they have targets for eliminating harmful ingredients;
2. How they are addressing concerns about chemicals in their products;
3. Whether they disclose fragrance ingredients on their product labels.

The research finds that while some progress is being made, overall the industry is slow to make change when it comes to harmful ingredients in their products. This is despite concerns by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations EnvironmentProgram (UNEP) that synthetic chemicals common in cosmetics (such as phthalates and parabens) are endocrine-disruptors, and may be linked to increasing rates of breast cancer, thyroid cancer and prostate cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Canada. Reducing exposure to potential carcinogens in consumer products is an easy way to contribute to cancer prevention.

Environmental Defence has recommendations for the biggest players in the Canadian cosmetics industry to help protect the health of Canadians and the environment.

You can take action and ask cosmetics companies to give their products and chemical policies a makeover.

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