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Your Lipstick Could Be Hurting You and the Earth, Says Canada

We've heard a lot about potential health hazards in cosmetics, but so far, the US government hasn't done anything in response. Not so in Canada, whose government recently declared four chemicals to be toxic.

Siloxanes D4 and D5, used as emollients in products such as moisturizers and makeup, are unhealthy for the environment. While they aren't considered harmful to human health, they do cause problems for streams, lakes, and rivers after they've been washed down the drain. The chemicals accumulate in microrganisms and other aquatic life, and some scientists suspect that they may harm fish. There's no talk of an outright ban yet, but Canada proposes setting concentration limits.

Equally unsettling is the announcement that two known human carcinogens, isoprene and epichlorohydrin, are used in cosmetics. You'd think they would be banned, but, uh, not exactly: They're being added to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. If that sounds like a puny response to ingredients that can cause cancer, that's because it is. The ingredients are prohibited, but enforcement sounds pretty weak: The manufacturers "may be advised to remove the substance from the formulation," among other similarly not-so-intense-sounding options.

Photo by Tanakawho

Join The Conversation
missyd missyd 8 years
Glad I live in Canada
violetceleste violetceleste 8 years
I know its superficial, but I want to know what the lipstick is thats featured in the photo. :)
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
That's sick...
pandacn pandacn 8 years
lipstick has SO many ingredients too! it's not too hard to let one slip by unnoticed...i'll have to read the ingredients list a lot more carefully.
vanilla19 vanilla19 8 years
Wow, I'm going to start buying more natural makeup products. They tend to be more expensive though...
cloroxcowgirl cloroxcowgirl 8 years
Skin Deep is a database website for cosmetics: - they list all the ingredients of cosmetics and skin care products and rank their toxicity (1-10). The cosmetics industry is going to have to do some things differently in the future, that's for sure.
belladande belladande 8 years
I only use lip color from "natural" brands. Even though most aren't truly organic or chemical free, they don't contain ingredients like these. I mean think about, it's on your mouth. You ingest it. It makes sense to be aware of what's in it.
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
I am with everyone else - I want a list of brands/products that have these..freaky!!
cocom cocom 8 years
I'd also like to know which brands use these chemicals in their products!
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
Geez. ;_; Now I'm like checking every tube of lipstick I have for those ingredients.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
Oh THAT'S comforting. Most of the time it's just money, Kadbunny. They've already bought a certain supply of the chemical and don't want to have to toss it, or the alternative choice is more expensive.
emalove emalove 8 years
This freaks me out.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
I wonder what those chemicals exactly do that manufacturers just HAVE to put them in. :\
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Very scary
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
Scary stuff.
infraredflower infraredflower 8 years
Do you know anything about what makeup brands have these dangerous things in them? :(
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