Are our cosmetics safe? Some people say no. Increasingly, experts are looking to the chemicals in make-up for the answers to cancer rates and other health problems. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about–especially if you don’t wear make-up every day–but a group of teenagers in Marin disagrees with me. They think we should all think about what exactly makes up (heh) our make-up. I wrote about this issue in the most recent issue of the Pacific Sun. Excerpt:

Just when you start to feel that you’re getting a handle on all the environmental hazards around you, another one pops up like a toxic bubble.

In fact, a group of young women from Marin worries that hazard might actually be a toxic tube of lipstick. Those girls want everyone to be aware of the possible dangers of cosmetics, and they aren’t stopping until teenagers nationwide join their cause.

Teens for Safe Cosmetics started in 2005 as a division of Search for the Cause, a nonprofit agency devoted to understanding Marin’s high breast-cancer rates. As Teens for Safe Cosmetics approaches its third anniversary, it’s showing no sign of slowing down—it now boasts hundreds of members, a fledgling branch in New York and its own product line to be distributed by Whole Foods this fall.

Read the rest here.

I also have a piece of satire coming out in the upcoming issue of the Wittenburg Door. Keep an eye out for it.

2 thoughts on “Article: Powder-puff girls

  1. Krista

    Personally, I use mineral make-up for my everyday use. I use it because it is better for my skin and allows it to breathe. I certainly would welcome a natural and healthy alternative to my usual tube of lipstick.

    This Marin theory would make sense if women in Marin used lipstick more than say women in Albany. Cancer rates are predominant in clusters due to environmental impact caused by pollutants found in our water, soil, and air. Much of California has nearby military bases and Aerospace facilities. Before the long term affects were known, these facilities would dump toxic waste in large open areas buried deep into the ground. The vapors from these harmful chemicals have intruded the air we breathe and the water we drink. Impact is being assessed and the EPA has funded clean up efforts in several areas of CA designating them as superfund sites due to the overwhelming evidence of dangerous and cancer causing compounds such as benzene.

    Additionally, we have environmental impact on the west coast due to the swirling currents of the Pacific Ocean and the extreme amount of coal burning and manufacturing happening in China. These are just a few of the researched causes for disease in California alone.

  2. Joy

    Krista– You could be right. Personally, I think it has to do with something along the lines of what you’re talking about. The fact that breast cancer is higher in affluent areas, and that most of those areas are by the ocean, suggests something is wrong with the water/geography to me. On top of that, my mom says she remembers the government doing testing in Marin when she was a kid, which is very suspicious.

    However, there are more chemicals in higher priced make-up, which means that people who wear more expensive make-up are more exposed to these carcinogens. There are no studies on this topic at all, so unlike the things you so eloquently pointed out above, we just don’t know if there are health risks in our cosmetics. Like I said, I think people are worrying over nothing–but at the same time, it doesn’t hurt to have natural alternatives.

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