WASHINGTON - February 9 - The perfume you give your Valentine may contain unwanted — and unlisted — ingredients: toxic chemicals. But this Valentine's Day you can show your loved ones you really care with safer choices from the researchers at Environmental Working Group.
"Most people buy cosmetic products without realizing that they aren't screened for safety and that the fragrances in them may contain any number of additional undisclosed and untested chemical ingredients, some of which may present serious health risks," said Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at EWG, creators of the popular Skin Deep website.
Most ingredients in personal care products are listed on the label. But due to a loophole in federal law, the ingredients in fragrances are not disclosed. This loophole can expose the public to chemicals that present serious health risks.
In 2002, EWG researchers found phthalates in 17 brand-name fragrance products tested, although phthalates were not listed on the label. Phthalates are linked to serious reproductive problems in studies of people and animals. Phthalates are common fragrance ingredients, but the consumer has no way to know which products they are in.
Because cosmetics companies won't tell you what's in the scents they sell you, Environmental Working Group researchers combed through thousands of Valentine's day gift ideas to bring you products that not only smell great, but that are also free of hidden, potentially hazardous fragrances.
The EWG list of Valentine's day gifts with no hidden fragrance ingredients is at http://www.ewg.org/issues/cosmetics/valentine/.
Every day, Americans apply personal care products containing an average of 126 different ingredients, to their bodies. These chemicals include carcinogens and reproductive toxins, as well as many compounds that have never been tested for safety. For more information on the safety of the products you use, go to EWG's online product safety guide at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
Skin Deep, the world's most popular searchable database of personal care products, is a safety guide with in-depth information on nearly 15,000 products. Skin Deep provides safety ratings and brand-by-brand comparisons that can help consumers choose safer cosmetics, shampoos, sunscreens and other items, and guide companies to make their products safer.