Cosmetic Safety

If you listen to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, you’d think that lead is put into our lipstick by cosmetic manufacturers to enhance their profits while imperiling our health. It’s not so. And once the facts have been pointed out, clearly and unequivocally, for some reason, the people running the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics do not modify their message. Not at all. Why could that be?

Lead is present in lipstick at about one sixth the concentration that the FDA thinks is ok for in candy. Like most people, I do not routinely eat several sticks of lipstick at a sitting. So is there something about lead in lipstick that the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics can see that the rest of us cannot? And where does this lead come from? Why would a manufacturer put lead into lipstick?

The simple answer is that manufacturers do not put lead into lipstick. Traces of the chemical, meaning parts per million or parts per billion, occur in nature. They are present in very tiny quantities in even organically-grown produce. They are not introduced by manufacturers, they occur naturally in our environment. So what is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics carrying on about?

At first, the organic movement looked benignly on the poor science and raw zealotry of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, thinking they had their hearts in the right place, and could be educated more fully about the issues they were addressing. But this has not turned out to be the case. The Campaign has fallen into disrepute with its early supporters. Sadly, it is very difficult for organizations to opt out of the Campaign’s published supporter list, and therein lies a clue to its agenda.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is allied with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), another lobbying organization that ostensibly seeks to identify and reduce dangerous substances in our environment. Who could argue with that? For years, they have had a free run from the media, which has not examined their science with any rigor.

Now that the Safe Cosmetics Act is being pushed by EWG and their acolytes, it has become evident that our freedoms are at risk. Herbs and plant oils contain trace elements of many chemicals. As previously stated, they are part of nature. Under the terms of the proposed Act, every single chemical component of, say, pomegranates, would need to be proven to be entirely without any shadow of risk, even if consumed in gigantic quantities. Olive oil could fail the Act’s test for use in a cosmetic!

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is not a grass roots organization.

It is unresponsive to input from people and organizations with well-established credentials in the green and organic movements. For instance, Gay Timmons, who has participated in the organic industry in various business capacities including organic certification, as a lobbyist, and as a consumer, wrote this on her blog

– thought more comprehensively about safety
– if they really understood the cosmetic industry
– if they were honest that the same chemicals in cosmetics are in medicine, household goods, and food (wow!)
then they would recognize that it all leads back to the chemicals that are made and allowed to be used in this country. They would use their energy and money to regulate chemicals instead of one portion of the consumer products industry.

EWG executives pay themselves six figure salaries from the donations they collect. They position themselves as environmental activists, but according to a post in the Personal Care Truth blog, there may be covert economic interests that explain EWG’s behavior.

I had imagined the EWG, which is extremely well funded, had got its money from donations. Clearly not – this is big business in every sense of the word. Why were they ignoring pleas from small natural companies who you would think would be their natural allies? Because they are in fact their competition. Why is the science on their website and in their reports so poor? Because it isn’t science at all. The aim is to make a case against their competition not inform the public about risk.

The rubber really meets the road in the Safe Cosmetics Act which is now being considered by Congress. The organic cosmetic industry woke up to the fact that this Campaign is not the benign organization that it appears to be on the surface.

Nobody put the lead in your lipstick. The story is a scam.

It is troubling that advocates for a safer and cleaner environment, who should know better, are not taking the facts into account, preferring instead to press their agenda through fear-mongering and distortion. We sure don’t need any more of that kind of pollution. Let’s have an honest and open debate. For now, it looks like a lot of dust is being kicked up.

Simple Care, Luminous Skin