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CONTACT: The Breast Cancer Fund
Revlon Threatens Legal Action in Attempt to Silence Consumers about Toxic Chemicals in its Cosmetics
WASHINGTON - November 1 - Cosmetics giant Revlon is lashing out at and threatening a coalition of cancer survivors, Revlon customers and women advocates who are urging the company to remove toxic chemicals from its products. Last week, Revlon’s general counsel sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ultraviolet and the Breast Cancer Fund after the groups launched a petition that mobilized over 45,000 people to demand Revlon immediately stop using cancer-causing chemicals in its makeup and hair dye products. The online campaign is part of a national effort launched by the Breast Cancer Fund, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization.
“Women shouldn’t have to worry about cancer when they apply their makeup in the morning,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “Young women developing cancer in record numbers should be enough for Revlon to stop lacing its products with toxic chemicals, but instead the company is fighting back against its customers and trying to silence criticism of the chemicals found in its products. No one deserves to increase their cancer risk from using makeup, and we demand Revlon join us in taking a stand and immediately drop these chemicals from its products.”
Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said these tactics will not work. "Here’s our message to Revlon: No amount of bullying is going to make us stop advocating on behalf of the millions of people who want and deserve safe cosmetics. Step up and become a leader by taking dangerous chemicals that harm women's health out of your makeup and hair dyes. At a time when Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Target and Walmart are cleaning up the beauty aisle by eliminating toxic chemicals, Revlon is like a dinosaur frozen in time in a changing world.”
Next week cancer survivors, women’s advocates and other concerned consumers will be joined by supporters in a protest in front of Revlon’s NYC headquarters. The groups urge Revlon to commit to:
- Develop a comprehensive “safe cosmetics policy” to protect women from chemicals linked to cancer and other adverse health effects.
- Support federal cosmetics safety legislation.
- Share the Revlon product safety policy publicly on the company’s website.
A survey of the ingredients of Revlon products sold in stores conducted by the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found numerous cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals, including parabens and chemicals that release the carcinogen formaldehyde, in mascaras, face creams, hair dyes and other products.