What Are You Soaking Yourself In?

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By Melanie DesChatelets, BSc(h), ND • February 20th, 2011 • 14168 Views

What Are You Soaking Yourself In?
has to take specific responsibility.

So what role does the FDA play in cosmetic regulations?

“Must be made and packaged in clean factories. Cannot contain poison, rotten, or *harmful* ingredients.  May only use color additives that are FDA-approved.  Must have a clear, truthful label.” - FDA

In a dichotomous system, a product is either safe or harmful.  If safety is decided by the manufacturer then by default, a harmful ingredient  is greatly influenced by what they don’t consider safe.  See a problem with this?  This really only leaves the chemicals that have had the opportunity to be scrutinized by very good research to otherwise be labeled as harmful.  Since most don’t have the research to support their safety or lack of safety, then many are considered safe until proven otherwise.  Well that’s great, no lead in our personal care products. Fewf!

“FDA does not test cosmetics before they are sold in stores. Companies must make sure their products and ingredients are safe before they sell them. FDA can take action against companies who break the law.” -FDA

Bottom line: This quote very clearly and eloquently states that there is no pre-market research required and safety is greatly defined by the cosmetic firms who create them.  A system that has been set up so that we must have the research to prove an ingredient unsafe rather than research to prove safety *prior *to being on the market.

Well I’m located in Canada.  Things must be different, right?

“All cosmetics sold to consumers in Canada must meet the requirements of the *Food and Drug Act*, the current *Cosmetic Regulations*, and all other applicable legislation to ensure that they are safe to use and do not pose any health risk.” - Health Canada

A great part of our regulation is tightly dependent on that of the FDA.

Exposure and human absorption

What we know:

We are exposed to many of these chemical ingredients, some are absorbed and some are found in human tissue- phthalates found in urine, parabens found in breast tumours and fragrance xylene found in human fat among others.

A study in 2000 analyzed perinatal exposure to phthalates and demonstrated that some but not all phthalates alter sexual differentiation in the male rat.  Changes such as reduced distance between the anus and genitalia, retained nipples, cleft phallus with hypospadia (abnormal location of the male urethra).

A study in 2006 found that women with occupational prenatal exposure to hormone disruptor were more likely to have a...


Melanie DesChatelets, BSc(h), ND

Location:  Vancouver, CA

Mélanie DesChâtelets, BSc(h), ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Physician committed to recognizing and attending to the fundamental antecedents of illness. Using the synergistic power of groundbreaking scientificevidence and long standing historical evidence in natural medicine, Mélanie strives to empower individuals to...