TSCA reform is desperately needed because, as you’ll discover when you take a look at the ingredients lists in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets, you can’t shop your way out of exposure to toxic chemicals, especially since manufacturers arenĺt required to tell you what’s in their products in the first place.
Since the FDA, not the EPA, regulates cosmetics, regulation of many of our personal care products would not be improved by TSCA reform alone. In order to have more comprehensive reform, we need to also ask Congress to give the FDA the authority to ensure that our cosmetics are safe. More regulation from both the EPA and FDA is needed to ensure that consumers are safe when using all products, whether they are necessities, for personal hygiene, or purely cosmetic.
Change needs to come from the companies themselves, and they aren’t going to make any changes unless the government or your absent dollars tell them to.
To give credit where credit is due, there are a few companies that dedicate themselves to natural, non-toxic ingredients, such as Giovanni Cosmetics, Aubrey Organics, and Dr. Bronners. To find out more about the safety of your cosmetics and personal care products check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, or the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. For more information about the movement to strengthen chemical policy, check out Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
It’s hard to believe that the search for the perfect conditioner led me to so much information about the dangers of everyday products or to changes in my personal life. These days I try to be as conscientious about my purchases and practices as I can. This means seeking out more natural (and often inexpensive) alternatives to commercial products, such as using apple cider vinegar to prevent razor bumps, using extra virgin pure coconut oil as a skin and hair moisturizer, or using concentrated castile soaps to create my own shampoos, body washes, or even laundry soap.
When possible, I make sure not to reheat my food in plastic tupperware, and I keep a reusable stainless steel/BPA free water bottle with me in my purse. When I do buy new products, I always check the label first. I’m not perfect, and every now and then I do purchase products that contain some not-so-great ingredients because I haven’t found safer replacements for them.
But I shouldn’t have to be an amateur chemist to buy laundry detergent: chemicals that are thought to be harmful should not be able to make it to our grocery store shelves. Stronger chemical laws will keep me, you and our families safer. So, together, let’s send a message to Washington and demand chemical policy reform.
And in the meantime, take action to protect yourself by banning these seven ingredients from your bathroom.