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Archive for March, 2012

Blog of Choice: Response to Current Events relating to Reproductive Rights in the U.S.

 

I find the allegation that mandated vaginal ultrasound is rape to be a very interesting claim.


Reactions to the recent attacks on women’s reproductive rights in the United States, from threats of the removal of birth control from health care to mandatory vaginal ultrasounds for abortion-seeking women, have been quite diverse. It seems an unfortunate trend that people don’t even need to satisfy the basic requirement of understanding the issue at hand before taking up a fervent opinion and letting as many people as possible hear it (See: Rush Limbaugh). On the other hand, there are a handful of elected officials who are making a statement regarding this issue by means of satirical appeal. Among others taking up a stance on the issue, Liberal Ladies Who Lunch, a group of American liberal women, have  discussed this issue at length and have chosen to stage a protest. A sex protest, that is. An article about the protest explains, “To help make a change, the group is asking like-minded women to align with them for a sex strike starting on April 28th and extending a week later until May 5.”

 

 

 

Now, there are many questions that arise. The first one, I think, is if this is effective as a type of protest in general. The article mentions the similar strikes in Colombia and Kenya that were successful. So, the basic potential is there although an analysis of the systematic differences of the countries might give reason to think that it will be less effective in the U.S. I’m not going to dissect these differences here, but I think that it is important to note that this type of strike is only effective if widespread. This is a problem particularly for the prospect of success with this kind of protest in the United States, I would imagine. I don’t think that there is the same type of connection or solidarity between women in the United States as in other cultures. For instance, I feel more comradery towards a man socially or politically aligned with me than with a woman who has opposing views. And I think that across the board, that is how many Americans feel. Then again, when discussing issues like reproductive rights, I feel a sense of loyalty to women and an instinct to defend my gender. But there are plenty of women who are pro-life, there are women who support the mandatory vaginal ultrasounds and so on. Are these women who are pro-life, anti-woman? Is that a fair label? And even if just purely linguistically, can a woman knowingly be anti-woman? An even more pressing question is that when we, Women of the United States, cannot even agree on basic issues regarding reproductive rights, how can we expect to all come together based solely on our shared gender? This is not even considering all of the racial issues embedded in the feminist movement. (Like in The Color of Choice when Loretta Ross discusses the reproductive right injustices that ‘women of color’ endure while white women are privileged; for instance, ‘women of color’ are manipulated into getting abortions while white women are encouraged to procreate. These are social issues that divide women and keep them from connecting based purely on their womaness.) I wonder why gender, as compared to other shared traits, takes such a backseat from a United States perspective? It appears to be an anthropological question which I am  certainly unqualified to answer with my limited knowledge on the subject, but interesting nonetheless, so I pose it.

                  

Anyway, the major issue that I wanted to discuss during this blog is the negative and positive effects of using sex as the “weapon” of choice. I find this so interesting because I can easily entertain both positions in my head. One might say that hell yes, using sex as protest is radical and provocative and a symbolic statement and most importantly, it has been proven effective. Another might say that the use of sex highlights the connection between sex and women in a negative way, considering historical stereotypes that deemed women as solely sexual objects whose only role was to have children and otherwise do as men advised. I don’t know which of these positions is right. But this dilemma reminds me a lot of the connection between women and Nature, and whether it is a beneficial connection or not. This debate is still ongoing; there are distinct stances on the matter. Some believe that women should embrace their natural connection with the environment as it is an essential part of their identity; others believe that the connection highlights the oppression endured by women and Nature and even provides excuse to subjugate women based on the position of female animals in Nature. Once again, I don’t know which of these positions is right. And perhaps the only answer is one regarding which position is right for you. That whole extreme subjectivity is a slippery-slope, though.

After reflecting on the idea of a sex strike in these circumstances, I am still undecided about its value. It is important to compare all the other types of protest and the ways in which they would be more/less effective in making a decision, I think. As fun as it is to blog about, the issue will be a lot more interesting to discuss with others. I’d like to hear what other people think about the LLWL’s plan and what effect it is likely to have. We can all actively take part in protest, whether through strike, sit-in, etc. or simply by staying informed about the issues and spreading awareness through discussion about them. No matter how one identifies, I think we can all agree that one ought to actively take part.

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For Hygiene or Beauty?

DATE TIME PRODUCT TYPE NAME DESCRIPTION
         
Tue March 6 5:15pm Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
  7:00 pm Hygiene Soap CVS Nourishing Hand Soap
    Beauty Hand Lotion Bath & BW Shea Butter
  11:50 pm Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
Wed March 7 8:00 am Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Hygiene Face wash Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Beauty Face lotion Neutrogena Visibly Even- SPF 30
    Hygiene Deodorant Lady Speed Stick- Powder Fresh
    Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
    Beauty Lotion Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion
    Beauty Perfume It’s my Life by Mary J
  11:00 am Hygiene Soap CVS Nourishing Hand Soap
    Beauty Hand Lotion Suave Cocoa Butter
  12:00 pm Hygiene Soap Dove Nourishing Care- Shea Butter
    Hygiene Body Wash Dove Nutrium Moisture
    Beauty Lotion Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion
    Hygiene Face wash Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Hygiene Deodorant Lady Speed Stick- Powder Fresh
    Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
    Beauty Face lotion Neutrogena Visibly Even- SPF 30
Thur March 8 1:23am Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
  9:00 am Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Hygiene Soap CVS Nourishing Hand Soap
  11:00 am Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Hygiene Soap Dove Nourishing Care- Shea Butter
    Hygiene Body Wash Dove Nutrium Moisture
    Beauty Lotion Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion
    Hygiene Face Wash Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Visibly Even- SPF 30
    Hygiene Deodorant Lady Speed Stick- Powder Fresh
  11:30 am Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
    Beauty Perfume It’s my Life by Mary J
    Beauty Oil Sheen Spray-hair Cantu Shea Butter- Conditioning Oil Sheen Spray
    Beauty Hair Gel Ampro Pro Style
  11:40 am Beauty Eye Shadow Revlon Color Trio
    Beauty Eye Liner Cover Girl
    Beauty Mascara Cover Girl
    Beauty Foundation Clinique
  11:00 pm Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Hygiene Face Wash Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Visibly Even- SPF 30
    Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
    Hygiene Deodorant Lady Speed Stick- Powder Fresh
  11:45 pm Beauty Vaseline Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Fri March 9 10:40 am Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
  12:10 pm Hygiene Soap Dove Nourishing Care- Shea Butter
    Hygiene Body Wash Dove Nutrium Moisture
    Hygiene Face Wash Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub
    Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Visibly Even- SPF 30
    Beauty Lotion Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion
    Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide- Whitening
    Beauty Burt Bees Nourishing Lip balm
    Hygiene Deodorant Lady Speed Stick- Powder Fresh
  12:35 Beauty Perfume It’s my Life by Mary J
    Beauty Oil Sheen Spray-hair Cantu Shea Butter- Conditioning Oil Sheen Spray
    Beauty Hair Gel Ampro Pro Style
         

Before completing the bodywork tracking log, I did not believe that I used that many bodywork products. I am not a very high maintenance female, most days I roll out of bed without putting in much effort and hardly every wear makeup. In tracking my bodywork consumption, I did realize that “getting clean” is quite the process for me. My daily shower routine is quite extensive. I wash multiple times with soap and then multiple times with body wash. After I am satisfied with my cleanliness, I then slap on a ton of lotion and utilize deodorant and perfume. The product I utilize the most however, I would have to say is lotion. I use multiple different lotions. I have a lotion specifically for my hands, a lotion for when it is cold outside and a lighter lotion for when it is hot. I use Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion the most often; it is my go-to for all purposes. One question I pondered for a while was whether I should consider lotion to be a hygiene or beauty product. Before completing the log, I definitely would have labeled lotion a hygiene product. However, after realizing how much lotion I really use, it is not at all a hygiene item for me, but instead is a beauty/ personal comfort item. Society tells me that I am supposed to have soft, smooth skin and Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion helps me accomplish just that. However, without this product I would survive just fine, as my body would produce oil on its own. So why do I use so much lotion again?  Due to my extensive use of lotion, I decided to conduct more research on Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion for my bodywork project. I use so much of it, I thought it would be interesting to learn about its effects on my body.

My Product

Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion has an overall moderate health concern level, rating in at 6. The product is made by Kao Brands Company, which is not a signer of the compact for safe cosmetics. The product has high concerns for neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, persistence, bioaccumulation, and non-reproductive organ system toxicity. The three ingredients with the high health concerns are aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, fragrance, and DMDM Hydantoin.

            Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate- (Overall Risk of 9)

  • Moderate evidence that it is a human nervous system toxicant
  • Strong evidence of neurotoxicity

Fragrance- (Overall Risk of 8

  • Moderate evidence of neurotoxicity
  • Known human immune system toxicant

DMDM Hydantoin- (Overall Risk of 7)

  • Preservative- Allergies and possible irritation to skin

Despite these ingredients, Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion has been found to be relatively safe. The product nor its ingredients have not been found to cause or increase the risk for cancer, although there is little information available on the topic.

The KAO Brands Company is international. The US headquarters are located in Cincinnati, Ohio. There are an ample amount of jobs available in the US with this company, offering all types of benefits. The company also states that it is socially responsible and community engaging. The KAO company is active in the Cincinnati area and the company, along with its employees, also donate to several not for profit organizations such as the US American Way. Based on my research, I believe that the KAO USA Inc. is treats its workers fairly and is making a positive impact in the Cincinnati area. Based on this report, I will continue to use Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion. However, I will try to simplify my daily cleansing routines and reduce the number of different products that I include.

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There is nothing “natural” about toxic products

Amber McGarvey Toxicity Report Tracking
Date Time Product Type Product Brand Name Purpose
Tuesday 3/6 7:50 AM Face Wash Clean and Clear Continuous Control Face Wash Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 7:50 AM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 7:50 AM Soap School Brand Health
Tuesday 3/6 7:50 AM Toner Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 8:00 AM Facial Powder L’Oreal True MatchPowder Beauty
Tuesday 3/6 8:00 AM Blush L’Oreal True Match Blush Beauty
Tuesday 3/6 8:00 AM Mascara Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Beauty
Tuesday 3/6 8:00 AM Eyeliner Revlon Colorstay Beauty
Tuesday 3/6 8:00 AM Anti-Perspirant Dove Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 11:30 AM Soap School Brand Health
Tuesday 3/6 5:00 PM Soap School Brand Health
Tuesday 3/6 5:00 PM Lotion St. Ive’s Hydrating Lotion Beauty
Tuesday 3/6 11:00 PM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 11:00 PM Face Wash Clean and Clear Face Wash Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 11:00 PM Toner Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hygiene
Tuesday 3/6 11:00 PM Soap School Brand Health
Wednesday 3/7 8:00 AM Face Wash Clean and Clear Continuous Control Face Wash Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 8:00 AM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 8:00 AM Toner Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 8:00 AM Anti-Perspirent Dove Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 8:15 AM Mascara Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Beauty
Wednesday 3/7 11:30 AM Soap School Brand Health
Wednesday 3/7 6:00 PM Soap School Brand Health
Wednesday 3/7 11:00 PM Shampoo Suave Naturals Almond & Shea Butter Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 11:00 PM Conditioner Herbal Esscenses “Long Term Relationship” Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 11:00 PM Face Wash Clean & Clear Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 11:45 PM Contact Lense Solution Up & Up (Target) Brand Health/Hygiene
Wednesday 3/7 11:45 PM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 7:15 AM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 7:30 Soap School Brand Health
Thursday 3/8 7:30 Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 7:45 Face Wash Clean and Clear Continuous Control Face Wash Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 8:00 AM Toner Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 8:15 AM Facial Powder L’Oreal True Match Powder Beauty
Thursday 3/8 8:15 AM Mascara Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara Beauty
Thursday 3/8 8:15 AM Eyeliner Revlon Colorstay Beauty
Thursday 3/8 11:30 Soap School Brand Health
Thursday 3/8 5:00 PM Soap School Brand Health
Thursday 3/8 10:30 PM Contact Lense Solution Up & Up (Target) Brand Health/Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 10:30 PM Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 11:00 Shampoo Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 11:00 PM Hair Conditioner Herbal Essences “Long-term relationship” Hygiene
Thursday 3/8 11:00 PM Face Wash Clean and Clear Face Wash Hygiene
Friday 3/9 7:45 Toothpaste Aquafresh Toothpaste Health/ Hygiene
Friday 3/9 7:45 Shampoo Suave Professionals Almond& Shea Butter Hygiene
Friday 3/9 8:00 AM Hair Conditioner Herbal Essences “Long-term Relationship” Hygiene
Friday 3/9 8:00 AM Face Wash Clean and Clear Continuous Control Face Wash Hygiene
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Toner Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Hygiene
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Moisturizer Clean and Clear Morning Burst Hygiene
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Make-Up Foundation L’Oreal True Match Liquid Foundation Beauty
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Facial Powder L’Oreal Pressed Powder Beauty
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Mascara Almay One Cout Nourishing Mascara Beauty
Friday 3/9 8:15 AM Eyeline Revlon Colorstay Beauty
Friday 3/9 11:30 AM Soap School Brand Health

My parents raised me with the philosophy to choose the cheapest product. I actually buy the bulk of my products from a flea/ farmer’s market near my house. I think compared to most females my age at this kind of college spend a lot more money and think more about their product choices than I do. Although I usually do enjoy wearing mascara and other make-up, lately I’ve been going a lot of days without. When I arrived home I realized I left all my makeup at school. At first I was concerned with the idea of not putting mascara on before going to see friends. But then, I began to feel a bit liberated, and I was able to enjoy the saved time and effort of facing the world with a natural face.

Looking at my Toxicity Report, some things I am surprised about and others I am not. For one, I always followed a sort of haphazard beauty and hygiene routine and the Excel List in front of me affirms it. There are days when I decide not to wear any make-up, and there are days when I go all out. Then there are the days that I don’t take my contacts out before bed, and the days that I decide to apply hand lotion for the first time in weeks. However, I am pretty consistent about one thing, and that is washing my hair. As someone who has long, thick hair, keeping my hair moisturized and relatively in control is crucial. While most beauty products I have no preference for, I can be very picky about what shampoo and conditioner I use. Currently I am using Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo and Herbal Essences “Long-Term Relationship” Conditioner for long hair. I decided to examine the Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo in more depth.

Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo

Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo is made by Unilever. The Suave Brand is operated under Unilever as their “budget” brand. Probably what drew me to the product (besides the fact that it was on sale), was that the label that claimed it was “NEW” and now made with “100% NATURAL” Almond and Shea Butter. Also catching the eye was a pleasant soft green colored bottle and a pleasant design featuring plant leaves and dandelions. On the back of the bottle Unilever claims “We care. Bottle made with 25% post-consumer recycled content.” Of course, this ecofeminism course has made me question just how much Unilever really cares about the environment and about consumer health. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database provided some insight.

Overall the Suave Shampoo received a rating of 5 on the Database and an overall health concern of moderate.  The most hazardous ingredients included fragrance with a rating of 8 and DMDM Hydantoin. Fragrance is used to mask unpleasant smells in the products and add ones that are appealing to consumers. When listed as an ingredient, fragrance represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals such as diethyl phthalate. The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers (SCCNFP) lists fragrance as a known human immune system toxicant. Even though fragrance has a high hazard rating and is found in countless products, the cosmetics industry panel does not asses the safety of fragrance. DMDM Hydantoin, which received a hazard rating of 7 in the shampoo, is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative. When exposed to ingredients that release formaldehyde, consumers may develop formaldehyde allergies. According the EWG’s Skindeep Cosmetics Database, “In the U.S., approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde-releaser and the frequency of contact allergy to these ingredients is much higher among Americans compared to studies in Europe.” I find it shocking that a product that releases formaldehyde, a widely acknowledged human carcinogen, could still be so easily used in everyday personal products.

Unfortunately, many personal care companies see the growth in environmental activism and natural, healthier products as something that they need to meet using advertising instead of actual change in their products. Commercials, magazines advertisements, and supermarket aisles are filled with new products that present themselves as more environmentally and user friendly than they actually are. This is known as “greenwashing.” As the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics explains, there is no standard in the US beauty industry for organic or natural personal care products. Companies are free to label their products as “pure, natural, and organic” even if that is far from the truth.It turns out Unilever is a non-signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and also conducts tests on animals. Unilever is based in Trumbull, Connecticut and fortunately the Suave brand makes most its products in the USA, including the Almond & Shea Butter shampoo. I’m relatively glad to hear that at least those living near and being affected by Suave factories have the opportunity to be employed there if they do not mind working with harmful chemicals. From the shampoo directly there is occupational exposure to EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and titanium dioxide. Of course, as we have seen in class, many employees have little choice when it comes to finding work and must face occupational hazards if they want to continue earning an income. Unilever has been responding to recent trends in environmental stewardship through its publicized policies and through “new, natural” products and packaging as seen in the shampoo I used. Unilever even has a section on it’s website devoted to sustainability. The website claims the company is making efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, water use, and waste from factories with certain goals set for 2020. Only time and transparency will prove if these goals are fully met.

An example of new products aim at environmentalists

 

I encourage everyone to sign this petition from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to Aveeno, Herbal Essences, and St. Ives to put an end to greenwashing.

St. Ives portrays itself as being "natural"

Before this class I never really considered the environmental or health implications of the personal care products I use everyday. It is impossible to completely avoid risk, but this project has been enlightening in ways that it is possible to reduce my everyday exposure and risk. Part of the power I have as a consumer is choosing to purchase products that are proven to be safe for my body and safe for the environment. If more people begin to make these choices, corporate industries may begin to see that we are aware of the products we use and we are not okay with being exposed to unnecessary risks when aiming for health, hygiene, and beauty.

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A Toxic Realization

I knew the minute the Toxicity Report was announced that this project was going to be a struggle for me.  I love my products. I shower AT LEAST once a day, I moisturize constantly, I always have lip balm, AND I have a clinically overactive bladder and therefore wash my hands at least 15 times a day……… No, I am not kidding. My fears were confirmed when I started to record every product I used on that fretful Tuesday. Yes, recording every swipe of lip balm and every short hand-wash was painfully irritating, but I am happy I had to keep track of my product usage for a few days. As expected, I am pretty disgusted. Seeing everything I use in a day written out on a table has shown me how much of my time, money, and effort is wasted on whitening my teeth, moisturizing my body from head-to-toe, and on and on and on.

Pretty much every product I use is not necessary; if necessary is defined as something I need in order to survive. I certainly do not need to, for example, use makeup, it is actually probably worse for my skin and my body. However, I am not going to lie, since I have completed my chart, my daily ridiculous routines have not changed much. I have cut back on at least few things and now I am more aware of how much crap I use on a daily basis that I do not need.

One thing I am definitely going to stop using is the lotion I use every day, Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer SPF 15 (after I am done this bottle of course… I am a typical broke college student).  I have been using it for years at least twice a day. In swimming season when I am always getting in and out of the pool, I use it countless times a day. I picked to research this specific product most of all because I use it so much and I have been using it for years, but also because I know that a LOT of my friends use it as well. I never thought of the moisturizer as being harmful because it is expensive, most of my friends use it, and Neutrogena commercials always say Dermatologists trust their products the most! I never thought my moisturizer could be harmful; I just went, humming slathering the white lotion all over my face multiple times a day, lalala.

 

The moisturizer I use every day…

 

Neutrogena emerged from a company called Natone that was founded in 1930. Natone released a new kind of soap in 1954 that was clear, amber, and most of all left little soap residue. They called the soap Neutrogena, and in 1962 the company renamed itself that because the soap had become so popular. As time went on, they created more skin care products. In the 1980s, they created a line of creams, lotions, and moisturizers. Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer was created at that time. Johnson and Johnson bought Neutrogena in 1994. Neutrogena is centered in LA, but they distribute their products to over 70 countries as well.

I knew none of this when I first bought this lotion. When I first typed in the moisturizer in the cosmetics database, I highly doubted that the moisturizer I had used for so many years would be harmful in any way. Turns out, according to the database, the moisturizer has and overall high-moderate hazard. The high concerns for the product are endocrine disruption, contamination concerns, and biochemical cellular level changes. The most dangerous ingredient in the product is oxybenzone, which is an active ingredient and may even be a photocarcinogen. Other ingredients that are of concern are methylparaben, propylparaben, triethanolamine, and diazoldinyl urea. I was shocked when I read about all of the hazards. According to goodguide.com, it is ranked 1065 out of 4753 moisturizers and has a 5.5/10 scientific rating.

I tried to investigate where the specific product was made and the potential impact on the worker and the communities online, but I did not have much luck. I know that Johnson and Johnson has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and has been sued for unethical marketing and antitrust violations. It all makes me wonder- are they trying to hide something? They have factories and producers all over the world- from Florida, to Milan, to Thailand! Looking at the Johnson and Johnson website, it says the quality and safety of their products is the top priority… Well, Johnson and Johnson, why does my face lotion have Oxybenzone in it, then? Other companies have managed to make similar products without it that are SAFE. The website also claims that Johnson and Johnson has provided employees with a safe place to work, but with the lack of information I found on the internet and the other contradictories I have found with what the company claims, the reality is I just do not believe it.

Alternatives to these injustices would have to start with examining the company and it’s products in a realistic way. Johnson and Johnson, DO NOT say your products are safe when they have harmful ingredients. Only with that realization will they ever come even close to producing products that are safe and healthy for both people and the environment. I am disappointed with Neutrogena and I WILL find a better face lotion as an alternative. The Toxicity Report has made me realize I need to think about what I do to my body and how it not only affects me, but also everything around me. Once consumers begin challenging companies like Neutrogena and researching about the products they use, both our bodies and the environment will be much better off.

We should never risk our health for beauty.

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Toxicity Report

Nail polish is an extremely common product sold at drugstores, supermarkets, beauty supply stores and in nail salons across the United States and is available in essentially every shade of every color and given a catchy name that makes consumers feel sassy and excited. What is unknown about nail polish, specifically the brand Essie that I researched, is the numerous harmful chemicals that are present. The main ingredient, Ethyl Acetate, in Essie is linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, and organ system toxicity. With the main ingredient threatening so many harmful effects, it was surprising to me that the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database only classified the polish as a moderate health concern. However, it is not a low health concern and the repeated use of something, and the age at which one is first exposed to it, that is moderately dangerous can still have disastrous effects over a period of time. The effects of nail polish are definitely seen over time and repeated exposure, because it obvious that if you slick on a coat of nail polish you are not going to drop dead. The toxicity that Essie nail polish threatens is built up and may not be seen to the naked eye, but is instead internal and built up. In addition to Ethyl Acetate, Essie nail polish is primarily made with chemicals (Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Propyl Acetate, Tosylamide Formaldehyde Resin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate etc.) that contribute to cancer, enhanced skin absorption, endocrine disruption, irritation to skin, eyes, and or lungs and artificial dyes that are not exactly hazardous to health, but are not essentially good for anyone.

Triphenyl Phosphate, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Alumina, Tosylamide/ Formaldehyde Resin, Dimethicone, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, and ci 73360 are all chemicals found in Essie that are identified by the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to be toxic to the environment. It is not a major concern, and is technically labeled by the database as “Low” on the concern meter, but that is simply because it is examining one bottle. When considering the massive market of nail polish and how many bottles are produced in any given time and then disposed of in landfills, the buildup of environmental toxins will soon become excessive and start to take their toll.

Produced in America, the brand Essie is used internationally in places such as Japan, France and England. In the United States, Essie is extremely well known and widely used due to the accessibility and fair price. Consumers can buy Essie in superstores such as Walmart and Target, drugstores, and high-end department stores such as Nordstrom. The array of colors and cheeky names, such as BBF-Boy Best Friend and Happily Ever After, attract a wide range of customers and scream “PICK ME” when one decides to paint their nails. The amount of people, primarily women, who are using this polish are essentially unknowingly (the ingredients are written on a translucent sticker in white ink) ingesting and exposing themselves to toxins that are seriously harmful in order to have their nails look pretty. The consumers are not the only ones affected by the nail polish, however, and as readers see in The Managed Hand by Kang the employees at nail salons, again primarily women, are exposed to the toxins day after day when they are applying the polish to customers. Thus, the nail polish industry is affecting not only those who are wearing the polish, but those who are tasked with applying it essentially doubling the amount of people exposed.

Nail polish will need to be essentially recreated if people were to decide that the amount of toxins in one bottle is overwhelming and extremely harmful. This is because the entire liquid that is nail polish is created with chemicals that make it colorful, long lasting, and usable. If this is not possible, there will have to be major social and political shifts that make nail polish undesirable to consumers, and protects those who work in nail salons and have to be exposed to it on a daily basis.

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Warning! You have now put too many carcinogens in your body…

Being that I am a collegiate athlete I am constantly working out and constantly sweating. Sweating may be more of an understatement, not to get graphic but let’s say after a days lacrosse practice I am more or less drenched in sweat.Due to the fact that I break out so easily and often as well as sweat I wash my face more than the average Joe. While this may seem all nice, good and clean, I often find my face drying out from the constant washing and it is especially difficult to find that medium in the winter. So when it comes to fash wash, I’ve basically tried every single one on the planet. When I came to Dickinson, one of my teammates mentioned Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser and luckily my face agreed to it. While I tend to switch cleaners from time to time to change things up, recently I’ve been using Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. But what I never realized or thought about what was in this product and how it could affect my health in any way.

This is it!

When we were presented this project, I decided this cleanser would be useful in investigating the ingredients and health benefits/risks, being that I use it several times a day. So first I needed to do some research because other than liking the product for how it makes my face feel and the convenient size bottle it comes in that allows me to travel with it, I had no idea what was in the product, where the product was made, the impact on the workers involved in creating and manufacturing the product and the impact the factory that has in making the product has on it’s surrounding communities. I started with the when and where. Aveeno first came to be in 1945 when two brothers, Albert and Sidney Musher were interested in human remedies and how they afftected human health. Collaborating with the Mayo Clinic, these two brothers discovered a “natural bath additive containing 100% colloidal oatmeal (“colloidal” means milled to an ultra-fine powder), known for its natural ability to hold in moisture and relieve dry, irritated skin” (Johnson and Johnson Consumer Products). As a child, I remember taking an “Aveeno” bath when I had the chicken pox and have never forgotten that soothing feeling and oatmeal smell and was always curious at how it took the treacherous itch away. So I guess it is not ironic that as a young adult I’ve still stuck with the Aveeno name brand.

Aveeno products are manufactured and in part controlled by Johnson and Johnson, a pharmaceutical company that creates and owns several consumer brands. Johnson and Johnson headquarters can be found in New Brunswick, NJ. Many recognize Johnson and Johnson for their baby products, so it was not surprising when I came across a letter on their website explaining their caution to human wellness both inside the factory and out. A woman wrote a letter asking about customer care and recieved a response from Vice President Susan Nettesheim who puts it vivdly when she says, “When we develop a personal care product, our experts including doctors, toxicologists and biologists, carefully review safety data and the most recent scientific literature on the ingredients, and we thoroughly evaluate all our finished formulations for safety. We understand that babies’ skin, hair, and eyes are different from adults’ and we develop our products with this in mind, consulting with pediatricians, nurses and other professionals to ensure that all our baby products are safe, mild and gentle. In addition to our own high standards, our products always meet — and often exceed — the standards of the agencies around the world responsible for the safety of personal care products in the markets where they are sold” (Nettesheim). After reading this, I was very comforted by the fact that not only do Johnson and Johnson take severe safety precautions when creating their products but they are making sure they are safe for the people using them. But then I asked myself, ok this is great, but what about Aveeno, do they take the same precautionary methods?

I found this image especially ironic and helpful because it demonstrates the other side, the side of products we normally don't see or are not subjected to, like how I was blindsided by the face wash I thought was all-world

Aveeno, like Johnson and Johnson is very focused in created healthy and safe products for consumers and one of the benefits the Aveeno brand holds over others is it’s use of several natural ingredients. The cleanser that I use is primarily composed of soy extracts and salicylic acid to help treat acne. The cleanser is also hypo-allergenic and oil free, which I love being that my skin is very sensitive. All of my research was so relieving and exciting, but the worst was yet to come. When using the SkinDeep data base, I found that this cleanser was ranked a 7 which is very high on the health concern scale (10 being the highest, 1 being the lowest). I couldn’t believe it, after I saw the safety Johnson and Johnson manufacuters took in creating their products and the natural ingredients in the cleanser I thought I was golden. Then I found some more ingredients and health risks…

Health hazards from using this product include, endocrine disruption, eye/skin irritation, persistence and bioaccumulation. Moderate concerns dealt with organ toxicity and neuro toxicity. Two chemicals I had never even heard of that are health risks for organ toxicity are Ethylene Oxide and 1-4 Dioxane. Ethylene Oxide, a human carcinogen runs extremely high under cancer concerns. I found it interesting that studies have shown that 1-4 Dioxane may be a human carcinogen but is still prohibited in the EU and Canada and not the U.S. As a daughter of a 3 time breast cancer survivor, I always felt I was extra careful when it came to the type of deodorants I used and recently the type of make-up. While the factory workers seem to be safe, I certainly am not. Over the course of the past month my exposure to this product has increased being that I am in the heart of my season. With that increased exposure I’m running the risk of ingesting these toxins and am exposing myself to human carcinogens without even knowing it! Starting tonight, I’m finding something more suitable for my health needs and concerns.

Here are my recordings of the products I used during 3 school days:

Time Date Product Type Product Name Product Name
6:30PM Tuesday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
8:01pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Shampoo Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
8:05pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Conditioner Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
8:07pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Body Wash Dove Go Fresh Cool Watermelon
10:32pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
10:41pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Face Cream Laura Mercier “Flawless Skin”
11:31pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
11:34pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Hand Cream Gold Bond Ultimate: Softenining with Shea Butter
11:35pm Tuesday Health/Hygiene Chapstick Vaseline
9:20am Wednesday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
9:22am Wednesday Health/Hygiene Face Wash Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
9:26-9:40am Wednesday Beauty Make-up Bobbi Brown Medium Bronzer, Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara-Jet Black, Valerie Beverly Hills Blush, Trish McEvoy Luxe Moistrue Balm
9:41am Wednesday Health/Hygiene Deodorant Old Spice Pure Sport
12:44pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
2:24pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
7:00pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Soap School Bathroom Soap Dispenser
8:39pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Shampoo Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
8:41pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Conditioner Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
8:43pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Body Wash Dove Go Fresh Cool Watermelon
11:16pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
11:18pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Face Wash Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
11:20pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
11:21pm Wednesday Health/Hygiene Hand Cream Gold Bond Ultimate: Softenining with Shea Butter
11:50am Thursday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
11:52am Thursday Health/Hygiene Face Wash Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
11:53am Thursday Health/Hygiene Deodorant Old Spice Pure Sport
11:54am Thursday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
11:55am Thursday Beauty Make-up Bobbi Brown Medium Bronzer, Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara-Jet Black, Valerie Beverly Hills Blush, Trish McEvoy Luxe Moistrue Balm
11:56am Thursday Health/Hygiene Deodorant Old Spice Pure Sport
3:28pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
7:30pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
10:28pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Shampoo Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
10:31pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Conditioner Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
10:34pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Body Wash Dove Go Fresh Cool Watermelon
10:48pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
11:00pm Thursday Health/Hygiene Face Wash Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
9:30am Friday Health/Hygiene Soap Softsoap Crisp Cucmber and Melon Handwash
9:32am Friday Health/Hygiene Toothpaste Colgate Total Whitening
9:35am Friday Health/Hygiene Face Cream Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
9:42am Friday Beauty Make-up Bobbi Brown Medium Bronzer, Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara-Jet Black, Valerie Beverly Hills Blush, Trish McEvoy Luxe Moistrue Balm
9:45am Friday Health/Hygiene Deodorant Old Spice Pure Sport
11:46am Friday Health/Hygiene Soap School Soap Dispenser

 

After doing this report I have definitly become more aware about the products I use and am more interested to know about the ingredients in them. Prior to conducting this experiment I was definitely not aware of how and where the products I use were made, what ingredients they contained, or if they were harmful to me or the environment. I was definitely surprised at how often I wash my hands and am applying face creams and hand creams. I feel that my log in would be much different than a 10 year girl or a 50-year old man. Every person has specific beauty and health concerns and needs and what I’ve realized is those needs are based off of your everyday life and activities. After doing this project, I want to get more involved in researching products before I buy them and making those around me more aware as well. I feel like it’s one of those things we always say we’ll get around to and never do, but this research has truly opened my eyes. I am at risk and more importantly my most prized possesion is at risk, my body! I’m not happy at the amount of different products I use on the day to day and my lack of knowledge about them, but I’m glad I did this log in so that I was able to see the real implications behind these products. I think we define what’s necessary for our everyday lives and thus we decide whether or not we are at risk and if we want to continue using a harmful product. I’ll admit, I’m sad to part with my cleanser but it’s simply necessary. As for other Aveeno products in the future? I’m not so sure being that it’s ironic that their website advocates their recyclable bottles, but don’t they know our bodies are not recyclable?

 

Sources Used:
 http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/9764…

 https://secure-www.jnj.com/wps/wcm/jsp/c…

 http://www.aveeno.com/facialcare/clear-c…

 http://www.johnsonsbaby.com/a-statement-…

 

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Toxicity and My Grandma

Time Date Product Type Product Name Product Name
23:20 3/6/12 Beauty Cleaning Cream Neutrigena Oil Free Acne Wash
23:21 3/6/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
23:23 3/6/12 Hygene Pad Always Ultra Thin
9:30 3/7/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
9:40 3/7/12 Health Shampoo TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo
9:43 3/7/12 Health Conditioner Tres Semme Curl Moisturizing Conditioner
9:44 3/7/12 Health Shower Gel Bath & Body Works Wild Honeysuckle Showergel
9:50 3/7/12 Beauty Moisturizing Cream Bath & Body Works Pleasures Body Cream Sweet Pea
10:00 3/7/12 Hygene Pad Always Ultra Thin
11:30 3/7/12 Health Chapstick Saftey First Chapstick
12:00 3/7/12 Hygene Pad Always Ultra Thin
22:30 3/7/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
8:00 3/8/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
8:12 3/8/12 Beauty Moisturizing Cream Bath & Body Works Pleasures Body Cream Sweet Pea
8:13 3/8/12 Hygene Deodorant Ban Uncented Antiperspirant Deodorant
22:33 3/8/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
22:35 3/8/12 Beauty Cleaning Cream Neutrigena Oil Free Acne Wash
9:40 3/9/12 Hygene Shampoo TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo
9:50 3/9/12 Hygene Conditioner Tres Semme Curl Moisturizing Conditioner
9:51 3/9/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate
9:55 3/9/12 Beauty Moisturizing Cream Bath & Body Works Pleasures Body Cream Sweet Pea
10:02 3/9/12 Hygene Deodorant Ban Uncented Antiperspirant Deodorant
22:10 3/9/12 Health Toothpaste Colgate

I’m another person who didn’t put too much thought into the health and beauty products they used on a daily basis. I thought in many ways I was already doing pretty well for myself: I don’t have the hand eye coordination for makeup and my hair and I have agreed the fuzzy hippy look works for me. Any personal body drama maintenance beyond health and hygiene would just lull people into a false sense of security before I open my mouth to show I’m slightly off. I’m not using up the Earths vital resources? At least I don’t think so. At worst I’m using up the hot water with the length of my showers. Maybe I shouldn’t use shampoo and conditioner every other day and it seems likely my Oil Free Acne Wash is secretly unhelpful in a placebo sort of way but that’s still not so bad. I assumed nothing I was using would be over a five on the web toxicity scale.

However after looking at my list and putting a few items into the Cosmetics Database I got a nasty surprise about some of my supplies. The 5 out of 10 toxicity for my TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo was bad enough but all of my Bath & Body Works products! That’s where I was really wounded. The place where my Grandmother loves to shop and I’ve been going to since I was in grade school has a less than stellar toxicity rating. The company has a toxicity rating of 7 to 8 and my Sweet Pea Body Cream has a toxicity level of seven out of ten. So much for my healthy state of being or mind.

That horrible moment where you're suddenly convinced you have every disease known to man.

The worst of it for Sweet Pea comes from the dye (rated 6 for toxicity) and the Fragrance (rated 8 for toxicity). The dye is called EXT D&C Violet 2 and it has the limited potential for Cancer and strong evidence of being a human skin toxicant. The dye is now for external use only. It can potentially be taken from animals or plants but there’s no way to tell which in this instance because Bath & Body Works was a nonsigner of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. The conpany offical documentation says they don’t do animal testing so that’s somewhat reassuring. The dye was featured on the label, right in between propylparabeen (discussed below) and surprisingly harmless red 40, but the use restrictions that go with it are nowhere to be seen. The only directions are to “Smooth over skin, focusing on dry spots like elbows, heels, and knees.” There are no warnings on my bottle about use or potential risks. The website says the data on this subject is limited but that’s still incredibly worrying.

Was the pretty pink color worth the added toxic risk? So much danger in such a tiny bottle.

For Fragrance at toxicity 8 the main concerns are neurotoxicity, allergies, and, immunotoxicity. Which seems like the sort of thing a company dealing in lotions and perfumes would be extra conscious about but apparently not. The label for fragrance says “Fragrance (parfum)” among the list of ingredients but doesn’t mention any of the risks. According to the website it was not fully labeled and the full identity is unknown. However it’s still a known human immune system toxicant and there’s moderate evidence of human neurotoxicity.

Less worrying but still scoring fives on the toxicity report are Methylparaben and Propylparaben, both preservatives and potential endocrine disrupter, Imidazolidinyl urea, which acts like a formaldehyde with potential human skin toxicity and immune system toxicity, and Triethanolamine, a known immune system toxicant, a skin toxicant, and a respiratory toxicant.

I checked the Bath & Body works website to see what other items might have similar problems and there are currently 48 items under the scent sample of Sweet Pea. Nothing about how it’s made or how the facilities operate. The closest I could find was this made in america website  which seems to indicate most products are from Mexico even when labeled with America’s Heartland. There’s also a petition from Campaign For Safe Cosmetics which is currently fighting against the companies heavy use of Tricolsan: a chemical that scored a seven for toxicity and which the FDA is currently studying for its adverse affects connected to pesticides and estrogen. Nothing is proven at this time from the FDA and won’t be until this Winter. However this isn’t really helping Bath & Body Work’s case for why I should keep using any of their products.

So I’m slightly alarmed, on the market for a new skin cream, and trying to find a polite way to tell my Grandmother to stop buying from one of her favorite stores. So that will be a “fun” project for the summer. It’s odd to think about all the things company’s can get away with not telling us while at the same time there are cups that say things like “careful: contents might be hot”. It seems like mixed up priorities. Or maybe it only seems that way because I’m paying attention now. I’m certainly not the only one if the petition I came across is any indication. There are plenty of people and websites willing to inform you if you put in the bare minimum of effort. But even that seems like a lot to ask sometimes.

Toxicity is a complicated and dangerous process. I’m going to try and be a lot more careful from now on.

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Toxicity Report

My first thought on my Cosmetics Toxicity Report is that I use a lot more products than I thought I did. I consider myself to be pretty low maintenance when it comes to make up and hair, however after writing down everything I used I am beginning to doubt that. During this week everyone had a stomach bug, this increased my use of Purell immensely. Looking at my report, the overuse of hand sanitizer sticks out to me the most. I find it almost comical to look at my time sheet and see every product I put on my body during that week. Overall, I am happy with my list. I think that most of the products I used are necessary for our culture and society; for example, shampoo, soap, and deodorant.

There are things I do not find necessary such as make up, conditioner, and, to the extent at which I use them, hand sanitizer and chap stick. The products I use, according to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, all have a hazard score of 4 or below. This means the products I use are of moderate hazard to my body. This surprised me in a positive way because I never put much thought to what shampoos or soaps I use and what chemicals are in them. One product I used almost more than hand sanitizer was my chap stick by a brand eos, which I decided to do further research on.

I use chap stick more than any other product on an average day, because of this I decided to look into the product more. The first thing I found out was that it is not called chap stick, but rather lip balm. I then looked up my product, eos Lip Balm Sphere in Summer Fruit, on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database where I discovered that it’s hazard score is only one. This surprised me and made me very content with the product that I put on my lips so often. The two worst ingredients in my lip balm are flavor and tocopherol. The hazards that come with the ingredient of “flavor” are unknown because flavor is a pretty vague term. However, tocopherol has been tested and shows tumor growth when applied in high doses in animal studies. Since there is not a high concentration of tocopherol, a naturally occurring chemical, there is not a high risk associated with my lip balm.

 

The low risk associated with my lip balm made me wonder more about the other products eos makes. Upon reading their website  I learned that they do not share a lot of information about their history or the nature of their products. It is a line of beauty products that are said to be primarily natural. All of their products are either all natural or close to it, with the exception of their shaving cream. What surprised me further is that my lip balm is also FDA approved organic. This made me feel a little better about the product that I so often use. Despite searching for more information on eos and company themselves, I found little information. I wish I could have learned more, especially about their history. However I did learn that the product I use most often is of little hazard to my health.

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Suave deodorant, how we question thee….

I am a conflicted soul. Although I know I should stay away from cosmetics and chemicals that I cannot pronounce, my dad taught me the value of frugality. Taking this lesson to heart, and learning from a senior my sophomore year that deodorant and many health products are hard to find in China, my mom and I went massive shopping before my study abroad there. In fact, we overstocked, so I still have cosmetic products from two summers ago, because I overestimated my use. So, I will talk about my deodorant, because it was a good deal, so we bought several, I think maybe 6 or 8 that summer, and I still have 2 more unwrapped in my extra stash drawer.

My pre-China and post-China deodorant

Before today, I never really considered what was in the cheap deodorant I put on twice a day, or more if I am exercising. But today, I found out what was really behind Suave. In fact, Suave is a part of Unilever, whose headquarters are in New Jersey, according to their website. In fact, Suave’s website mostly has commercials for hair products, as well as shows you their products, lists their ingredients, and that is about it. I did find that their deodorants are not biodegradable, from a computerized Q&A section of their website. So, I called their 1-800 number, and was told that finding out specifically where in the United States my deodorant was manufactured is classified information. Thus, I cannot tell you the environmental impact of the chemicals manufactured somewhere in the United States for my deodorant. This information was very limited, so I looked elsewhere for more information about deodorant.

What I can tell you are the following that I found out via multiple websites. First, from the skin-deep database http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/137478/Suave_Naturals_Invisible_Solid_Antiperspirant_%26_Deodorant%2C_Soothing_Aloe_Vera/ I found that my deodorant was moderately hazardous, with a 5 rating. I thought beforehand deodorant would be quite cancerous, which it is not, much to my relief, but does have low carcinogenic risk, but is linked to moderately high allergy/immunotoxicity hazards.

The carcinogenic ingredients in Suave’s deodorant were: BHT, tocopheryl acetate, and cyclopentasil oxane. The endocrine disruptors were: BHT and cyclopentasil oxane. Cyclopentasil oxane also is a chemical that is persistent and bioaccumulative.

Following my curiosity, citric acid, naturally occurring in citrus foods, is only problematic concerning its use, and restricted in manufacturing in Canada. Otherwise, it mostly is there for a lemony scent. Hydrogenated castor oil, an emulsifying agent, has use restrictions, concerning damaged skin, as well as potential contamination with 1, 4-dioxane.

Next, I went to the EPA’s TRI database, which I knew about due to taking Environmental Science 132 two years ago. Under EPA’s TRI database, http://www.epa.gov/tri/trichemicals/chemicallists/RY2011ChemicalList.pdf the chemicals propylene glycol and hydroquinone appear (some of the ingredients in my deodorant), with a deminis % of 0.1 and 1.0, respectively. This means that the minimum value for allowance in the environment.

Another webpage I perused was the Food and Drug Administration’s webpage, and stumbled upon information about talc. Their webpage, http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/SelectedCosmeticIngredients/ucm293184.htm, says that even though talc is a naturally occurring mineral and has absorbing qualities, is cautious about it because of the possible contamination with asbestos. Of the list of products that have talc, none were my deodorant, or any deodorants, for that matter. Also, the FDA would like to see reduction of testing on animals, but acknowledges that this might be the only way to research product safety.

 

On the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) website, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/, I found aluminum, not the same aluminum compound, and that aluminum, although not a carcinogen, is linked to harming the following organ systems: musculoskeletal, neurological, and respiratory system.

After conducting this research, I am more skeptical as to whether I should just sweat in the gym, or should I not stink and potentially harm my own body. In a sense, ignorance is bliss, and now I am questioning my habits more. I don’t think I will ever buy the Suave brand again, but I will look at the Skin Deep website to evaluate before I buy any cosmetic products, I promise.

Also, here is my cosmetic log:

Time Date Product Type Product Name Product Name
5:45 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
5:46 PM 3/6/12 beauty deodorant Suave invisible solid
6:55 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene hand sanitizer Purell
8:42 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene dish washer soap Green works dish washer soap
8:50 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
10:58 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
11:00 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene contact solution Bausch and Lomb Renu contact solution
11:01 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
11:04 PM 3/6/12 beauty shampoo Alberto VO5 tea therapy blackberry sage tea shampoo
11:05 PM 3/6/12 beauty conditioner Alberto VO5 tea therapy blackberry sage tea conditioner
11:06 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene Bar soap Dial
11:08 PM 3/6/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
11:15 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
11:16 PM 3/6/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
11:17 PM 3/6/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
11:18 PM 3/6/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
8:10 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene deodorant Suave invisible solid
8:15 AM 3/7/12 beauty eye drops Bausch and Lomb Renu eye drops
9:07 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene dish washer soap Green works dish washer soap
9:33 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene Bar soap Dial
9:34 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
9:35 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene floss Glide floss
9:38 AM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
9:39 AM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
9:44 AM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
9:45 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
9:45 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
10:18 AM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
12:08 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
1:25 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
2:25 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
5:10 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap dial soap
5:15 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
6:52 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
7:25 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene hand sanitizer Purell
10:19 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
10:20 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene contact solution Bausch and Lomb Renu contact solution
10:23 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
10:26 PM 3/7/12 beauty shampoo Alberto VO5 tea therapy blackberry sage tea shampoo
10:27 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene Bar soap Dial
10:30 PM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
10:44 PM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
10:45 PM 3/7/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
10:47 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
10:47 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
10:53 PM 3/7/12 Hygiene hand sanitizer Purell
7:45 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene deodorant Suave invisible solid
8:07 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
8:15 AM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
8:17 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
8:18 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
8:19 AM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
8:20 AM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
8:21 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
10:55 AM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
12:02 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
12:58 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
1:55 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
4:34 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
7:21 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap
9:02 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
9:11 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene dish washer soap Green works dish washer soap
10:26 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
10:28 PM 3/8/12 beauty shampoo Alberto VO5 tea therapy blackberry sage tea shampoo
10:30 PM 3/8/12 beauty conditioner Alberto VO5 tea therapy blackberry sage tea conditioner
10:32 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene Bar soap Dial
10:35 PM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
11:58 PM 3/8/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
11:59 PM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
11:59 PM 3/8/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
12:00 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
12:01 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
8:11 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
9:28 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
9:30 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene toothpaste Aquafresh
9:31 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene floss Glide floss
9:33 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene chapstick Ulta cranberry chapstick
9:43 AM 3/9/12 beauty eye drops Bausch and Lomb Renu eye drops
9:45 AM 3/9/12 beauty acne Proactive face scrub
9:47 AM 3/9/12 beauty acne Proactive toner
9:48 AM 3/9/12 beauty acne Proactive repairing treatment
9:49 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene lotion Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion
10:08 AM 3/9/12 beauty deodorant Suave invisible solid
10:29 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene soap Soft soap
10:56 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene dish washer soap Green works dish washer soap
11:21 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene hand sanitizer Purell
11:50 AM 3/9/12 Hygiene soap bathroom liquid soap

I think it was slightly skewed, because I did not want to record certain behaviors, such as put on lotion, and I was more conscientious of such behaviors, that this may or may not be a good representation of me.

 

 

 

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How Toxic?

Throughout the day I use moisturizer on my hands and on my lips. And on my face. And my hair, and skin. I did not realize how much moisturizer I squished onto my body until I had to do the body work log – both looking at the list after it was completed, and every time I went to write down a product. I found myself questioning if I really needed another few swipes of lip balm. Toxicity did not even cross my mind until I started the log. I assumed the products I used were somewhat bad for me, but not they could not be too bad.

Time Date Product Type Product Name Product Name
9:50 PM Tuesday Hygeine Body wash Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
Hygeine Shampoo Garnier Fructis Daily Care Shampoo
Hygeine Conditioner Garnier Fructis Daily Care Conditioner
10:00 PM Tuesday Hygeine Toothpaste Colgate Sparkling White Toothpaste
Hygeine Floss Reach Mint Waxed Floss
10:21 PM Tuesday Health Moisturizer Eucerin Original Moisturizing Crème
Health Moisturizer Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer
Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
12:04 AM Wednesday Health Moisturizer Eucerin Original Moisturizing Crème
10:08 AM Wednesday Hygeine Deoderant Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Deoderant
Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
10:54 AM Wednesday Hygeine Toothpaste Colgate Sparkling White Toothpaste
11:22 AM Wednesday Health Moisturizer Eucerin Original Moisturizing Crème
Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
12:30 AM Wednesday Beauty Perfume Oh, Lola! By Marc Jacobs
Beauty Concealer Maybelline Coverstick
12:32 AM Wednesday Beauty Concealer Revlon Colorstay Concealer
Beauty Mascara Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume Mascara
Beauty Lip tint Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm
12:35 AM Wednesday Beauty Lipstick Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick
12:40 PM Wednesday Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
10:00 PM Wednesday Hygeine Toothpaste Colgate Sparkling White Toothpaste
10:39 PM Wednesday Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
11:30 PM Wednesday Health Moisturizer Eucerin Original Moisturizing Crème
9:45 AM Thursday Hygeine Deoderant Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Deoderant
Health Lip balm Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm
9:49 AM Thursday Beauty Concealer Maybelline Coverstick
Beauty Concealer Revlon Colorstay Concealer
Beauty Perfume Viva La Juicy
10:11 AM Thursday Hygeine Toothpaste Colgate Sparkling White Toothpaste
10:15 AM Thursday Beauty Lipstick MAC Lipstick
12:51 PM Thursday Beauty Lipstick MAC Lipstick
10:00 AM Friday Hygeine Deoderant Dove Ultimate Go Fresh Deoderant
10:34 AM Friday Hygeine Toothpaste Colgate Sparkling White Toothpaste

For my toxicity report I looked up Eucerin Original Moisturizing crème, since I have been using it all my life. Both the jar and the company website boasted “dermatologist recommended,” and my experiences coincided with this claim. The site had a decent FAQ section that addressed potentially concerning ingredients, such as alcohol and urea. Neither of these specific ingredients were in my product, however there was lanolin alcohol. The website explained that lanolin alcohol is a moisturizer, while alcohol dries out skin. The site stated that the company does not test their products on animals, but only on human volunteers. This information pleased me, as many companies do not abide by the same standards.

So, Eucerin seems like a pretty good company. I checked out the product’s toxicity ratings and I was relieved that the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database gave it an overall hazard score of 3/10. Upon further investigation, two chemicals increased this score with their individual ratings of 6: methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. These chemicals are “widely-used preservatives.” Both chemicals are associated with allergic reactions, and methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. Both chemicals are restricted in Canadian and Japanese cosmetics. This alarmed me – if another country’s government decided it was too risky for them, why would the United States allow it in its products? On the other hand, if only two countries restrict its use, is it really that bad? And how much of it is in Eucerin, anyway?

Regardless, I have been using this product for as long as I can remember. I started to get a little nervous about how many jars my skin has absorbed over the years. But, neither of the two chemicals bioaccumulate. Perhaps this is one of the reasons other countries are not as concerned with the two chemicals.

Despite the scare the two chemicals gave me, overall the product is not that bad for me – its overall rating was 3, and the two worst chemicals were rated 6. There is no doubt that I will keep using this product.

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