In early 2004, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent letters to hundreds of leading cosmetics companies selling products in the United States urging them not to use toxic chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. Although required to make safer products for the European Union, many cosmetics and personal care companies had yet to agree to make safer products available to their U.S. customers.
Since then, a growing number of companies have signed our Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to phase out dangerous chemicals. And while none of the major cosmetics companies have signed the Compact, some agreed to remove chemicals banned in Europe from products they sell around the world in response to our letter:
In a letter dated December 21, 2004, L'Oréal Senior Vice President for Research and Development Alan J. Meyers wrote unequivocally that his company's products are in compliance with the EU cosmetics directive "no matter where they are sold around the world." Read the L'Oreal letter.
Revlon Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Catherine Fisher wrote on December 20 that "all products sold by Revlon are currently in full compliance with… EU Directives 76/768 EEC." Read the Revlon letter.
The response from Unilever on the company's reformulation policy was unclear. While Senior Vice President for Research and Development David Duncan wrote that Unilever "does not use [DBP and DEHP] as an ingredient in our products," the letter of December 15 did not state whether the company's products sold in the United States and other markets would comply with the EU directive, which also requires elimination of many more ingredients known or highly suspected to be carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins (CMRs). Read the Unilever letter.