This is just one example of why I place ZERO faith in the hazard scores produced by the EWG Skin Deep database:
Talc – Low Risk score of “3”.
The Skin Deep database is a project of the Environmental Working Group, so it is a surprise that the people who score this ingredient might appear to be unaware of an article from their own parent company: “Federal Regulators Knew In 1976 That Asbestos Can Contaminate Talc”
So the potential health risk for both inhalation and vaginal use is known to EWG.
“FairWarning reported that a March 1976 Food and Drug Administration memo it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act “charged that cosmetics makers had been lax in monitoring the safety of talc supplies.” In light of the industry’s weak efforts, the memo said, FDA had “not much choice but to move ahead as speedily as possible with a proposal of a regulation on asbestos in talc.” FDA backed off, however, after a cosmetics industry trade group said it had developed a test companies would use to screen talc for asbestos.”
So why is this ingredient still being used in makeup? Do professional cosmetic formulators think the risk of brushing on and breathing in a cloud of talc is not something that women should be concerned with? Do these companies only care about our vagina’s and ovarian cancer, and not our lungs and lung cancer?
Example; this information must be known to Mia Davis, Head of Health and Safety at the cosmetics company Beauty Counter, since her resume includes being the Organizing Director of the The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics from January 2007 – December 2011 (5 years).
- The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) is a project of the Breast Cancer Fund.
- Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a founding Member of the CSC.
- Beauty Counter is listed on their websites as a supporter of EWG.
But how, you may ask, is EWG’s Skin Deep related to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics?
“The Skin Deep database was conceived and created by, and is run by, our research team here at the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. We are also cofounders of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. We’ve helped that coalition by using our Skin Deep database to monitor companies’ progress in meeting safe cosmetics standards. But Skin Deep is an independent EWG project.“
So my question, why do some Beauty Counter cosmetics contain talc as their first ingredient?
Their own Head of Health and Safety knows not only that this ingredient is linked to causing cancer but also *should* know there are safer and more eco-friendly alternatives. We might expect this ingredient in an inexpensive grocery store or drug store brand, but in a high end, expensive, product line marketed *as* being “safer products”? With or without asbestos contamination – TALC is a hazardous ingredient and one which has no place in a product line marketed as “safer”. Exactly how is TALC “safer” than an ingredient found in a competing brand?
While there may not be safer alternatives to all cosmetic ingredients – the most challenging being preservatives – there ARE safer alternatives to TALC!
DISCLOSURE: This is a personal opinion on the ingredient “talc” and not disparaging of the product line being used as an example in this article.