Category Archives: Chemicals

Lead in Children’s Toys and New Safety Guidelines

Lead in Children's Toys and New Safety Guidelines

The Canadian Government has issued new regulations to limit the use of lead in children’s toys and products and for products that will have mouth contact.

Amendments have been made to the Hazardous Products Act to further restrict the amount of lead in many consumer products, including children’s toys.

Read full article: Lead in Children’s Toys and New Safety Guidelines.

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Babies & Kids, Chemicals, Warnings


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Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Bottles like these are BPA Free

A new study shows methlyparaben and BPA, chemicals used in many consumer products, may reduce the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs like Tamoxifen.

September 13, 2011 – Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have just discovered that two common chemicals used in consumer products, methylparaben and Bisphenol A (BPA) are having a negative effect on cancer drug effectiveness. When both chemicals were combined and added to breast tissue cells, they rendered Tamoxifen ineffective. Tamoxifen is designed to kill both cancerous and normal cells.

Breast Cancer Drugs Blocked by Methylparaben and BPA

Reported in the San Francisco Chronicale, the latest study took noncancerous breast tissue cells and exposed them to Bisphenol A (BPA) and Methylparaben. When Tamoxifen was then introduced to stop and kill the cells, it was unable to do so. The results indicated to researchers that introduction of these chemicals made the cells take on cancer behaviors.

Most breast cancer drugs focus on minimizing estrogen, since most breast cancers are driven by estrogen. Both methylaparaben and BPA are known to disrupt hormone function. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) confirms that Parabens are known to mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer tissue. Continue reading: Parabens in Cosmetics and BPA May Aid Breast Cancer Development |


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FDA Sends Warning Letter to Brazilian Blowout: Formaldehyde

FDA Sends Warning Letter to Brazilian Blowout: Formaldehyde

Published on Suite101 is today’s article regarding Brazilian Blowout. The popular hair straightening treatment was banned from entering Canada back in October 2010 and has now been warned by the FDA to re-label it’s product and disclose all ingredients found within.

From Suite101: FDA Warns Brazilian Blowout

The FDA sent a warning letter to Brazillian Blowout about their use of formaldehyde as an ingredient. Currently the product is misbranded and adulterated.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has issued a letter of warning to the makers of Brazilian Blowout, surrounding their use of formaldehyde as a ingredient. The popular hair-straightening solution is used in salons and is currently labeled as “formaldehyde-free” and states that it “contains no formaldehyde.”

Brazilian Blowout Hair Straightening Procedure Dangers

In 2010, Brazilian Blowout was all over the news when salon works and customers began complaining to the Health Canada that they were experiencing illness when using the product. Investigations by Health Canada revealed that the popular hair straightening product contained unacceptable levels of formaldehyde.

Due to the dangers of formaldehyde, FDA guidelines only allow formaldehyde levels to be 0.2 percent. When tested by Health Canada, the levels were 8.4 percent, 42 times the acceptable limit. Formaldehyde is often used in cosmetics as a preservative. It causes irritation to the skin, eyes, lungs and nose and is also linked to causing cancer.


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Shopping for Natural Products Online: Baby Kids and Adults

When I first started my business I wondered how I could possibly sell natural products online since the online experience is usually quite limited. For starters, you can’t touch or smell the products, so how can customers really know what they are buying?

Shopping Online Requires Good Product Descriptions

The first thing I realized was all of my products needed really good product descriptions. Pictures were a must but there were so many other details I had to make sure I included. With over 600 products now, I am still tweaking my products -even after 2 years of being open!

Some descriptions of the natural products I sell are things like product size and full ingredient listings. I am surprised by sites like that don’t have ingredient listings for some of their products. “Paraben-free” or “Contains no SLS” just isn’t good enough!

Not Jumping on the ‘Organic’ Train

It didn’t take me long to realize that it’s not all about ‘Organic’. So many products out there are called ‘Organic’ but are mixed in with toxic chemicals anyways! The standards out there on labeling are pretty lax and really, if you contain some organic ingredients you can get away with calling your product organic – silly isn’t it?

I decided to call my products what they are: Non-Toxic and Chemical-Free. By Chemical-Free I am referring to man-made synthetic chemicals that are known to cause a variety of health problems such as, but not limited to: allergies, skin irritations, cancer, hormonal disruptions, blindness, aquatic and wildlife contamination, neurological conditions and effects, respiratory problems, migraines and other health issues.

Being Honest About My ‘Natural’ Products

Am I perfect in the products I offer to customers? No. I am not a scientist and have been in many debates with scientists and chemists about the safety of chemicals that the government seems to think is ok. I do not claim to be an expert – I’m simply a mom who did some research for two years and built a product line of products that do not contain those harmful chemicals – simple.

I’ve had to drop a few product lines over the last two years when new information about their ingredients were learned. Some companies in the beginning put artificial fragrance in their products without telling me – but since I am super-sensitive to synthetic fragrance and I test everything I sell, I quickly discovered the ingredients when my hands broke out in a rash! If the products don’t fit our guidelines, they don’t get sold in the store!

Special Deals for Customers Who Want Natural Products

I don’t think natural and chemical-free products should have to cost 3x more than is reasonable! Many stores jack the price thinking that customers expect to pay a premium. To me, that is 100% BS! I’m a mom who always wants the best price out there – sure, if it’s a bit more costly I’ll pay it but if I don’t have to why would I?

My prices are average I would say, if not lower than what big competition would offer. I have put all my products on sale and don’t see nearly the kind of profit most other businesses do. But – I believe in people being able to afford good chemical-free products for themselves and their children. I’ve lowered all the prices again this week, for summer sales and offer competitive shipping rates.

Occasionally I’m told my shipping rates are too high, but those customers think shipping should only be  few bucks. What they don’t realize is the smallest package I ship, even to my local area, will cost almost $7. A couple provinces away, it will cost around $12. I only charge $6.95 for local shipments and for the rest of Canada I charge $9.95. So yes, I usually lose money on shipping, especially because the box and packing materials cost around $1.50 each.

Successful Online Business: Natural Products for Baby Kids and Adults

Natural e GREEN: Natural Products Store

Natural e GREEN: Natural Products Store

Is my business a success? I would say so. I am not rich and do not really plan on being rich. But the bills are paid and we are not wanting for anything. I am able to offer over 600 products to my customers (baby kids and adults) across North America at darn good prices and for reasonable shipping. Plus, I’m able to use the same products for my family.

So yes, I would say the business is a success. It is my job and keeps the income going and it helps others find the products they want for the prices they can afford. It gives me peace of mind knowing I’m doing the best I can for my kids and myself and gives me personal satisfaction with each new thing I learn.

Success is not always measured in dollars, it’s how you feel at the end of the day!

You can always shop at our store and even read our articles for more information on chemicals and products that are safe. Learn about sunscreens and how they damage the environment and see how you can choose eco-friendly products. This summer we offer up to 35% lower prices than list and free shipping on orders over $150. Yes – a good chunk of that money comes out of my pocket in the end, but at least I can sleep easy and feel good about who I am and what I do for others!  If you like Natural e GREEN and our store, please like us on facebook, tweet us, +1 us and even vote for us for the Eco-Edge Award that we’ve been nominated for (details on our site!)


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Dangers of ADHD Drugs and Anti-Depressants: Child Suicide

June14, 2010 – Harry Hucknall was 10 years old when he took his own life. Diagnosed as having ADHD and prescribed both Ritalin and Prozac, Harry had mentioned feelings of unwell and did not appear to be happy. Tests have revealed he had higher doses than a normal adult would have had for the same problems. Harry was not alone, hundreds of children have died from drug-related deaths, ADHD drugs that is.

What ADHD or ADD Is and Why It Needs Treatment

ADHD or ADD is a condition that stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The main difference between ADHD and ADD is the hyperactivity component. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to the condition as ADHD.

Children with ADHD have trouble focusing and concentrating. They don’t always follow instructions, forget things quickly, have a hard time socially with peers and often can’t sit still for long periods of time. It is hard to make an ADHD diagnosis until the child is school-age, that is, one he is in a structured classroom setting. Drug guidelines are set to not be administered to any child under the age of six, because before then, it is quite impossible to tell if the child has ADHD or not.

Many pharmaceutical drugs have been created to treat ADHD, though the safety and effectiveness of these drugs is really not yet proven. The only drug that has been around long enough to understand long-term effects is Ritalin and it has been proven to be dangerous and lead to addiction tendencies. However, most doctors and educators push to treat these children with mind-altering drugs so they fit into the norm. Often, more than one drug is prescribed and children end up on a “cocktail” of drugs.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe ADHD does need treatment – but not with mind-altering drugs that have known side effects and unknown long-term health hazards. I am a mother of an ADHD child and have been though it all. I understand the frustrations and trials. I know parents want their children to behave and to do well in school, but pharmaceutical medications, especially ONLY pharmaceutical medications, are not the answer. You need behavioral techniques to be applied and must understand how your child thinks to help her discover the tools she’ll need to succeed in life.

Children Dying From ADHD Drug Treatments

Doctors often don’t disclose the dangers of ADHD drugs. They may mention some “common” side effects such as problems sleeping, loss of weight, loss of appetite and irritability but rarely do they mention the “other” side effects.

Did you know – many ADHD drugs can cause:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies
  • Heart Attacks

Doctors rarely make sure parents know about these side effects and understand the risks their children are taking when they go with this ADHD treatment. In my personal opinion, I think all parents should have to sign a waiver of sort, that outlines the drug(s) their children will take and ALL the side effects (common or not). It needs to be 100% certain that parents realize how serious these drugs are – they are not vitamins and just because millions of kids take them each day, does not mean they are safe.

Diagnosing ADHD in Children

So how is ADHD diagnosed? It is a term that was invented 50 years ago and covered a variety of symptoms. There is no concrete or absolute test for ADHD. Basically, to diagnose ADHD parents and educators will be asked to ‘evaluate’ the child on their behavior and especially compared to their peers. A psychiatrist will then evaluate the results, compare them to peer levels and decide whether or not your child is ‘up to par‘.

A study, done by Todd Elder, indicated that nearly one million children in the U.S may be misdiagnosed with ADHD based on this method of ADHD testing. The reasoning behind it deals with children who are the youngest of the classroom. In some cases, children who enter kindergarten when they are four (typically those that have birthdays at the end of year) will be almost one year younger than their peers. Developmentally, they will always be more immature than their peers and when evaluated in comparison to them, they will be seen as “not equal.” (Well no kidding! One year is a big difference when it comes to children.)

Dangers of ADHD Drug Treatments and Children That Have Died

The next couple of paragraphs will be sad and readers are warned of the fact.

Adrian David Wade - Suicide: Strattera

Taken from the page of National Alliance Against Mandated Mental Health Screening and Psychiatric Drugging of Children, the following children have died from being on ADHD drugs:

  • Stephanie Hall – 11 years old. Ritalin.
  • Louise Dunkle – 10 years old. Desipramine.
  • Matthew Smith – 14 years old. Ritalin.
  • Adrian David Wade – 12 years old. Strattera. (Suicide).
  • Leanne Bessner – 15 years old. Concerta.(Suicide).
  • Macauley Showalter – 7 years old. Ritalin and 3 other psychiatric drugs.
  • Randy Steel – 9 years old. Dexedrine and other drugs.
  • Cameron Pettus – 12 years old. Desipramine.
  • Travis Neal – 13 years old. Ritalin.
  • Harry Hucknall – 10. Ritalin. (Suicide).

These children, and many more died from side effects caused by the ADHD drugs: heart attacks, organ toxicity or suicide.

Seeing Through The Eyes of ADHD Children

For just one moment, let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes. The ones who are diagnoses with this very subjective disorder.

“I am a child, I like to play and have fun. It feels good when someone tells me I did something right, but that doesn’t  happen often. I don’t know why, but I find it hard to sit still like everyone else. I know I should sit and read the textbook like my teacher tells me too, but I am just not interested in in and my mind is so busy with other thoughts.

I like to figure out how things work. I love it when I have free time and I can do puzzles and draw and make things work. Often I don’t clean up right away but that’s just because there is SO much I want to do, so much I want to learn. My mind is full of ideas, and thoughts and it makes me happy and excited! I can’t wait to try all these things, build new things and put my ideas on paper! I like to act and sing and play music and wish I could just express myself all the time that way.

The teachers tell me to sit still, and write out the answers a certain way. I don’t see them like that. They show me a math problem and tell me to write out all the steps individually to show how I got the answer. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I know the answer, I SEE the answer. I also see the BIG picture and how everything fits together, but teachers don’t want to see that, they want to see the small version. How do you explain to someone how to feel happy? How do you explain the steps you would go through to feel that feeling?  You can’t, it’s just something that happens. That is how I think and learn. I can’t really explain it, it’s just what I know and if it’s right, why do they tell me I’m wrong?

I don’t follow instructions well all the time and have trouble expressing myself properly. People misunderstand me all time and it really hurts. I think I’m following instructions and feeling proud of myself for doing something, only to get in trouble for not doing something else that I was supposed to do. I’m always in trouble, I’m always grounded. I don’t think I’m very smart because I’m in trouble all the time and people yell and get angry with me, sometimes they call me stupid and tell me I will never succeed in life. They are probably right. Even though I know a lot, I can’t explain what I know and I can’t do it the way the teachers want me to do it, so I probably won’t succeed in this world because I just don’t fit in. They don’t understand.

I think my parents love me, they say they do, but they are angry and sad and feel frustrated. I think I failed them, I’m not who they wanted me to be. I try so hard, each day I promise I’ll do better and I’ll listen, but somehow, things don’t work out that way and I end up messing up again and again and again. I wish I wasn’t here sometimes, the sadness is so much for me, I feel horrible most of the time and I get tired of trying to make things work out. It seems no matter how hard I try, things still mess up and I get in trouble. I feel their anger, their disappointment and it makes me dark inside. I don’t feel that happiness or joy inside me, it’s hard to think of positive things when all I feel is dark and alone.

I don’t belong here, I don’t fit in. It’s sort of like how a blind person goes through life: ” They don’t see like you or I do, they don’t use their eyes. They see things differently and do things differently but they get the job done.”

I see things differently, this I can not explain.”

The above quotation was not written by an ADHD child, but it could have been. It was written by me, a mother of an ADHD child and researcher of ADHD children.  We need to see through their eyes to understand how they think. They do not think like we do and asking them to do so is like asking a foreigner to “just speak” our language without any training.

I am a mother, my son has been through many conventional and non-conventional ADHD treatments. He has suffered some of the worst side effects listed with pharmaceutical ADHD drugs and through our experiences we have come to learn more about him and how he thinks and learns.

There is no easy answer here, no quick-fix solution. The first step is understanding and committing to working with our children. Avoiding pharmaceutical drugs is a good choice, at least until all other avenues have been fully tried. Education and awareness are key to helping our ADHD children and it begins with you: The Parent, Caregiver and Educator.

About the Author

Tamara Laschinsky is the owner of Natural e GREEN and author of Helping Your ADHD/ADD Child: Simple Steps to Improvement. She is the the mother of an ADHD child who has tried the pharmaceutical route and now employs a herbal and behavioral approach to treating ADHD. She lives with her family in Alberta, Canada. You can find her books on Amazon.


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Non-Toxic Cancer Cure: Conflict of Interest

June 13, 2011 – As a new movie begins to emerge, more and more information is streaming into the media about natural and non-toxic cancer cures. Speculation rises as fingers point to the government agencies and big pharmaceutical companies for trying to stop cancer cures that would not show any profit. The conflict of interest is mind-boggling when you see just how much money is involved and what’s at risk when non-toxic cancer cures are discussed.

University of Alberta Find Cancer Cure

Researchers in Edmonton, Alberta have made a surprising discovery: a drug used to treat metabolic disorders has shown to reduce and eliminate certain tumors. The drug, dichloroacetate or DCA, does not require a patent and can not be patented, so what does this mean? It means that no pharmaceutical company will manufacture this drug or pay the bill to test the drug because there is no money to be made in using dichloroacetate to treat cancer.

Cancer cells are seen as cells that are “immortal”, that is, they don’t seem to have an “off” button. The grow and grow and grow, while normal cells run their cycle and eventually die. Dichloroacetate has shown to reactivate the “off” button in cancer cells and once introduced to cancer cells, they begin to die and are no longer immortal.

Further testing will be necessary to prove this drug will work to treat cancer and it will be up to the University to partner with other organizations in order to raise the necessary funds for the second phase of testing. Privatization of cancer cures is deadly when you consider just how many people suffer needlessly when a likely cure is available but stuck in the fine print of government regulations.

Dr. Burzynski Offers Non-Toxic Cancer Cure for Four Decades

Since the 1970’s, Dr. Burzynski has held the belief that Antineoplastons have been able to cure many types of cancer; especially terminal and untreatable cancers. For the last four decades, he has been suppressed and hounded by government agencies because of his non-toxic solution to treating cancer. He has been in court many times on false charges and has been found not-guilty every time. He has been threatened and they have tried to take away his license but still he continues.

In 2009, the FDA-supervised clinical trials began, when it was obvious they could not shut him down. If the money is raised, third level testing may happen as early as 2011 but this funding is up to Dr. Burzynski. For years he has helped to treat many types of cancer but had his hands tied on many occasions. Parents were turned away if their child had not yet tried “conventional” treatments, those are chemotherapy or radiation therapy, because the FDA put limitations on what patients were allowed to try Dr. Burzynski’s treatment.

In his research, patients who tried Antineoplaston therapy were part of a large success rate. With no toxic side effects, this therapy looks to be promising and non-invading but there is still the hurdle of government approval. If this Antineoplaston therpay is approved, it will be the first time a single scientist will be granted rights to a drug and ultimately, the Big Pharma companies will be shut out for many years before it can be available as a generic drug.

The Conflict of Interest With Cancer Cures

With billions of dollars spent and raised each year for cancer research and treatment, it does not take one very long to realize that big Pharma does not want to cure cancer. Why would they? Why cure it when you can treat it for years and years and years? Think of all the billions of billions of dollars that would be lost if a cure was discovered or, in the case of the University of Alberta research, a drug was found that could not be patented – therefore, no one made any money from it.

Imagine a day when you get a cancer diagnosis and the doctor writes you a prescription for dichloroacetate and you simply go the the pharmacy, fill the order and take your two week course and voila – cancer is gone! Imagine treating cancer like a bronchial chest infection.

Or perhaps it will be a long-term drug that keeps the cancer away. There is still plenty of money to be made in treating chronic illnesses – which is what Big Pharma wants isn’t it? Why cure something when you can just treat it over a long-term period and make billions of billions of dollars and fund research for new drugs to lengthen your lifespan?

There is too much conflict of interest and frankly, I don’t understand how this is even legal. If you are a lawyer or stock-broker or in any position of power, it is un-ethical to continue when a conflict of interest arises. The whole pharmaceutical world is one big conflict of interest because the developing companies have everything to gain from making drugs that don’t cure the problem but rather, treat the problem. Even the organizations profit by fund-raising every year. Where would the National Cancer Institute be if we found a cure for cancer? They’d be in the same place the National Institute of Chest Colds would be: out of business. There is no need for such an organization once you’ve found a cure.

The Conflict of Non-Toxic Natural Cancer Cures Vs. Traditional

Where is it the government’s place to tell us what we can or can not do with our bodies? Who are they to say we can’t choose a non-toxic, non-invasive cancer treatment? The FDA already agreed Dr.Burzynski’s treatment was non-toxic and therefore, not harmful, so why was he not allowed to continue the treatment?

So many parents, so many individuals have been refused these treatments that may work, all because of dollar signs. So many terminal cases that would have jumped at the opportunity to at least “try” the above-mentioned methods and yet, they were not allowed. What did they have to lose – really? If it didn’t work, fine. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I have lost many friends and close family to cancer and I know they would have jumped at the chance to try something that may have worked. They would have loved to have had the option at least, the consideration of something worth trying.

It’s time the people begin questioning the government agencies that say they have our health in mind as they make their decisions. It’s time they be accountable and put under pressure to explain the reasoning behind so many decisions. There are cures for cancer – many of them I’m sure! But it’s not about curing cancer for these agencies, it’s all about treating them as chronic illnesses to maximize profit. Natural remedies exist, and they don’t have side effects or diminish quality of life: We just need to back up the companies who believe in them and help them do their research so one day, treating cancer will be no different than treating a bacterial infection.

Learn More About Natural Cancer Treatments

Dr. Burzynski has released a movie that is free to view for the next three days. It outlines his ordeals and trials as well as countless testimonials from parents and patients. You can view the movie here. Join him on Facebook too and follow the news as it happens.

You can also follow the latest news on the University of Alberta’s research: using dichloroacetate to treat cancer here


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Toxic Metals Found in Makeup Cosmetics

Toxic Metals Found in Makeup Cosmetics

May 17, 2011 – In a report released by Environmental Defence, it was disclosed that 100% of products tested, all tested positive nickel and over 90% tested positive for both lead and beryllium. Environmental Defence is calling on Health Canada to modify their regulating standards and to enforce the laws set forth.

What Toxic Heavy Metals Were Found in Makeup Cosmetics

SGS Canada tested a wide array of mascaras, eye shadows, lip glosses and other cosmetic products that are worn everyday by most women. The results were alarming and outrageous:

  • 100% tested positive for nickel
  • 96% tested positive for lead

    toxic heavy metals in makeup cosmetics

    Heavy metals in cosmetics

  • 90% tested positive for beryllium
  • Products, on average, contained at least 4 of the 8 metals of concern (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, beryllium, nickel, selenium and thallium)
  • Highest levels of arsenic (70ppm) cadium (3ppm) and lead (110ppm), found in lip glosses that are often ingested while being worn
  • Highest level of lead was Benefit Benetint lip gloss, 110ppm whichwas 10 times higher than allowable level (Health Canada allows 10ppm maximum on lead in products) The same brand contained 70ppm Arsenic, which is 20x higher than Health Canada limits of 3ppm.

How Toxic Heavy Metals Get Into Makeup and Cosmetics

These metals are not put there intentionally, they are simply impurities in the product and are not required to be listed on the labels, since they are not a directly-added ingredient. Manufacturers could, and should, take care to remove these impurities, but time is money and since guidelines are so laid-back, very few manufacturers remove these heavy metals from the final product.

Neither Health Canada nor the FDA require the manufacturers to supply test results before the market is allowed for sale to the general public. Rather, it is up to the manufacturer to “know” what is allowed and not allowed and to follow the rules. Basically, it’s an honor system and the consumer pay the price for those manufacturers who are not on their best honor.

Toxic Metals of Concern in Makeup Cosmetics

Canada needs to modify their guidelines to not only lower the allowable amount of toxic metals allowed in makeup cosmetics, but also needs to include the whole range of metals that are a concern. They include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Beryllium
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Thallium

Health Hazards Caused by Toxic Metal Build-Up in Body

Heavy metals accumulate in your body and over time, cause a variety of health concerns including: cancer; reproductive and developmental issues; neurological disorders; loss of memory; mood swings; joint and muscle problems; problems with cardiovascular, skeletal, blood, immune system, kidney and renal systems; headaches; vomiting, nausea, diarrhea; lung damage; dermatitis; brittle hair and hair loss.

Heavy metals are also considered to be endocrine disruptors which disrupt your normal regulation of hormonal levels. They are also suspected to be respiratory toxins and there are no known “safe” blood levels.

How Consumers Can Avoid Heavy Metal Toxins in Makeup Cosmetics

Consumers need to begin reading labels and doing their research before using makeup cosmetic products. Since these heavy metals will not appear on the labels as a direct ingredient, you will need to research the brand and company and get familiar with ingredients that you need to avoid.

As The Vancouver Sun reported May 16, 2011, you wont’ find these metals listed on the ingredient label and will have to do your own research to find out what’s safe and what isn’t. Consumer can pressure Health Canada and ask them to start enforcing the guidelines and making it mandatory that full lists of ingredients are disclosed to consumers, including by-products and contaminants.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned parents to avoid letting their children use any products that contained lead. Unfortunately, there are no quick and easy lists to read so as to how parents can help their children avoid lead in their products is anyone’s guess.

What the Cosmetic Industry Says About Toxic Metals in Makeup Cosmetics

Now of course, we can guess what the industry says about any concern for toxic metals in cosmetics, but for the sake of argument and to remain unbiased – let’s give a paragraph or so to Darren Praznik, president and CEO of the Canadian Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances Association (CCTFA).

Praznik indicates the Enviornmental Defence’s report was skewed and misleading; designed to only scare the general public. He also indicates that that consumers would have to consume “several pounds of cosmetics every day to get within any amount that was of real risk…”.

To Mr. Praznik I would say, ” since these toxic heavy metals are known to accumulate in our bodies over time, how can you tell me that consuming even ‘acceptable’ levels of lead and arsenic will not cause me serious health issues after a decade or two?” The body does not rid itself of these metals and with so many products containing these metals, you are likely ingesting much more than you think.

I would also note that Mr. Praznik indicated that “skin wouldn’t absorb any heavy metals because it acts as a strong shield,” but I wonder if Mr. Praznik has heard of propylene glycol and other cosmetic ingredients that increase absorption rates and allow these toxic chemicals to penetrate the skin easier? Sure the skin is strong, but it’s not made of teflon and what goes ON your body, goes IN your body.

One last note as to why Mr. Praznik hold his viewpoint: It’s his job! He represents 160 companies that are members of the CCTFA including: L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Chanel and Procter & Gamble Beauty, so there is really no surprise which side of the fence he’s on. Imagine how long a president could hold onto his position if he starting saying ” These cosmetic companies are poisoning the general public and don’t want to spend the extra money to ensure the heavy metals are removed from the final product!”

Finding Products Without Harmful Ingredients

You can check out the Environmental Working Groups Cosmetic Database and look up the products you use. The database shows what ingredients are present as well as which ingredients are likely to be contaminated with unwanted ingredients.

Consumers can also find natural products stores that strictly avoid toxic chemical ingredients. Just because a product is in a “natural” section does not mean it is the safest out there. A few boutiques, especially online, are offering only toxic-free products that do not contain questionable ingredients. Stores like Natural e GREEN offer a variety of personal care and cleaning products for the whole family and keep their customers informed with the latest information.

You may also wish to read books on these subjects and get familiar with ingredients you should avoid. “The Cosmetic Chemicals Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Buy”, is a great book that outlines the various common chemicals and alternate names it goes under. It is a thinner style handbook that can fit in your purse and serve as a great reference.


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