It’s about time you take a look at the label on the back of your beauty products. While drugs in the United States must be approved by the FDA before hitting the market, the U.S. government has no authority over the cosmetic industry.
As long as they don’t contain any ingredients that are classified as drugs, products do not have to be approved by the U.S. As a result, popular cosmetic companies continue to use ingredients that may be considered dangerous. Many of which are banned in other countries.
This is far from a comprehensive list of ingredients that we use in the United States that have been banned in the European Union as well as Canada and Japan.
Baby Powder: Talcum Powder
Talc was a popular mineral used in powdered cosmetics and deodorants until it was discovered that, in its natural state, it could contain asbestos. However, after asbestos was discovered to be a carcinogen, regulation of talc has been strict.
Consumer Talcum products have been asbestos-free since the 1970s, however, studies have noted a link between asbestos-free talc and ovarian cancer. While the link has not been proven, the possibility of asbestos-free talc being carcinogenic has prompted the European Union to ban talc-based cosmetics altogether. It is still widely used in the United States.
Acne Medication: Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is typically used as an acne treatment and was banned in the EU in February of 2014 due to its close relation to acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). Aspirin has been linked to salicylate poisoning and Reye’s syndrome in children and young adults.
While Reye’s syndrome is described as “sudden (acute) brain damage and liver function problems of unknown cause,” it has become a very uncommon occurrence since aspirin is no longer recommended for routine use in children.
Triclosan keeps gingivitis at bay, but it might lead to weakened immune systems and even birth defects. The European Union has already banned the chemical that is often found in toothpaste and antibacterial soaps.
The United States may not be far behind on this ban. Minnesota Governer, Mark Dayton recently signed a bill that would ban triclosan products in the state effective January of 2017.
Nail Polish: Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is a preservative—and known carcinogen—often used in nail polish. In addition to cancer, formaldehyde is known to cause severe allergic reactions. Canada has banned the use of Formaldehyde in personal care products, but the chemical may still be lurking in Missouri nail polish aisles.
Skin Lightener: Hydroquinone
Skin lightening product, Hydroquinone is known to be effective in fading liver spots, freckles, and acne scars. However, there has been some recent controversy over the ingredient, as there has been some evidence suggesting that it could be carcinogenic.
Eye Shadow: Butylparaben
Butylparaben is typically used as an antimicrobial preservative used in eye shadow, foundation, facial moisturizer, and anti-aging treatments to prevent decomposition. Because Butylparaben mimics estrogen, it has been linked to several health problems typically associated with estrogenic substances.
It has been reported that butylparaben can decrease sperm function in men—potentially leading to sterility. Additionally, a study on rats exposed to a high concentration of butylparaben during pregnancy reports a proportionate increase of pups being born with malformed reproductive organs.
Should I Stop Using Beauty Products That Include These Ingredients?
As we’ve said, some of these chemicals are known carcinogens, or known to be bad for your health in other ways, but others have only seen a correlation. In other words, the official stance in the United States is that they “might” be safe. The decision is ultimately up to you, but make sure you’re checking ingredients and that you know what you’re putting on your skin.
If you’ve used a questionable beauty product and suffered symptoms described above, contact a St. Louis personal injury attorney at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers right away. We can help direct you to get the compensation you are entitled to. Call us for a free consultation at 314.444.4444.