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Review of Cosmetic Safety Database

Cosmetic safetyHow hazardous are the products we are using? The Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database lets you type in product names and it identifies a hazard rating on a scale of 1-10 for the product (10 is the worst). It works by looking at the ingredients in more than 25,000 products and then compares those ingredients to what is listed in 50 toxicity and regulatory databases.

From baby care to oral care to fragrances the Cosmetic Safety Database encompasses a full range of products. I decided to look at some of the products I used quite a bit including Crest Vivid White Fluoride Toothpaste (refreshing mint). It came in at a 6 on a scale of 1-10. Not great, right? It tells me my toothpaste has ingredients linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity and more. It is also very clearly lists the “percentage of data gap” there could be and it gets into much greater detail on what they mean when they say something is linked to cancer. It is a good overview written in a comprehensive, organized manner.

There was one red flag I found when searching different products. The results page, where it gives you data on what is in the products, also has a link to buy the product off of Amazon.com. This made me curious as to whether or not they would link a user to a site selling a product that got a score of 10. I found Eternity by Calvin Klein, Eau De Toilette Spray, with a rating scale of 10, and yes, it also had a link to purchase it. You can draw your own conclusion about that.

The site does give very helpful information on what to look for to keep your purchases as healthy as possible in their safer shopping tips list. Some things they recommend:

1. Use fewer products. Basically, the less you use the less exposure you have to chemicals.
2. Avoid using baby powder on newborns and infants- FDA warns powders may cause lung damage if inhaled regularly.
3. Use milder soaps. Soap removes dirt from the skin’s exterior, but also removes your body's own natural oils.

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“Review of Cosmetic Safety Database”