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For Immediate Release: November 9th, 2007
Contact:  Stacy Malkan, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (510) 848-5343 x105, Kevin Donegan, Breast Cancer Fund (415) 346-8223 x14

AVON, L’OREAL AND PROCTER & GAMBLE CHALLENGED OVER LACK OF COSMETICS SAFETY

Full Page USA Today Ad Highlights an Untested, Unregulated Cosmetics Industry

NEW YORK—The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics took out a full page newspaper ad today that highlights concerns about the safety of chemical ingredients used in cosmetics products, and challenges major U.S. companies over their use of ingredients suspected to cause cancer or birth defects.

The ad, running in East Coast editions of USA Today, depicts a man and a woman in an intimate situation. The man says, “Don’t worry, I’m 11% tested.” The ad continues, “Don’t trust these odds? Then you should know: only 11% of the 10,500 chemicals in your cosmetics have been screened for safety.”

Eighty nine percent of the 10,500 ingredients FDA has determined are used in personal care products have never been evaluated for safety by the FDA, the industry-funded Cosmetics Industry Review panel or any other publicly-accountable institution.

The absence of government oversight for this $35 billion industry leads to companies routinely marketing products with ingredients that are poorly studied, not studied at all, or worse, known to pose potentially serious health risks such as birth defects or cancer.

The ad asks readers to tell Avon, L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble to join the nearly 200 cosmetics companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to remove dangerous and untested chemicals from their products. The ad also urges readers to tell the FDA that chemicals should not be allowed in cosmetics products without first being assessed for safety.

Today, the Health & Beauty America conference, a major cosmetics industry expo, begins at the JacobK.JavitsConvention Center in New York. Industry representatives from across the country are expected to attend.

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Founding 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.