|For Immediate Release: April 19th, 2006|
|Contact: || ||Felicia Eaves, Women's Voices for the Earth 202-341-9834; Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth 202-222-0712; Susan Roll, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, 617-376-6222; Kevin Donegan, Breast Cancer Fund 415-346-8223|
CONSUMERS PRESS OPI TO GIVE ITS NAIL POLISH A MAKEOVER
Salon Brand Contains Some of the Most Toxic Ingredients on the Market
across the country are speaking out against a popular nail polish brand
known for its wacky shade names such as “Blushingham Palace” and “I’m
Not Really A Waitress.”
To mark Earth Week, women in dozens of U.S. cities are delivering
letters to nail salons that sell OPI nail products, urging them to sell
safer brands of nail polish while demanding that OPI Products, Inc.
remove toxic chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, birth
defects and other serious health problems from its products.
The consumer and retailer education effort, organized by the Campaign
for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of health and environmental groups,
follows findings from a recent scientific analysis which revealed that
OPI nail polishes contain some of the most toxic ingredients on the
According to Skin Deep, a report on cosmetics and body care ingredients
by the Environmental Working Group, a founding member of the Campaign
for Safe Cosmetics, many of OPI’s nail polishes and treatments contain
formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), three of the top 10
ingredients of concern in the report.
The three ingredients also are identified by California’s Proposition
65—a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or
reproductive toxicity. In addition, both toluene and formaldehyde are
listed by the U.S. National Toxicology Program as “reasonably
anticipated” to be human carcinogens. In 2004, the European Union
banned the use of DBP, a chemical linked to reproductive harm, from
cosmetics, forcing OPI and other companies to remove DBP from nail
products sold in 25 European countries. No such ban exists in the
“While many companies have already removed DBP from their products
worldwide, OPI nail products sold in the United States still contain
DBP,” said Felicia Eaves, national organizer for Women’s Voices for the
Earth, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
The Skin Deep report also rated the Los Angeles-based OPI as a brand of
“higher concern,” scoring 5.0 on the report’s safety scale, with 0
being of lowest concern and 5 being the highest.
Activists say too that the health of salon workers who handle such
products every day is at stake. “Repeated exposure to some of these
chemicals, both to the skin and by inhalation, is hazardous,” said Lisa
Archer, campaigns coordinator for Friends of the Earth’s U.S. Health
and Environment Program. “Many women in beauty and nail salons work for
long periods of time and often in poorly-ventilated spaces.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of U.S.-based health and
environmental groups. To date, more than 300 cosmetics and personal
care product manufacturers have signed the “Compact for the Global
Production of Safe Health and Beauty Products,” a pledge to replace
hazardous ingredients with safer alternatives.
members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics include: Alliance for a
Healthy Tomorrow, Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Fund, Commonweal,
Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast
Cancer Coalition, National Black Environmental Justice Network,
National Environmental Trust and Women's Voices for the Earth.
For more information and background on the campaign, see www.SafeCosmetics.org.