Cosmetic companies to ban use of potentially harmful chemicals

DETROIT – More than 500 companies have signed agreements to eliminate potentially unsafe ingredients in their cosmetic and body care products, a national health and environmental coalition said Thursday.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics requires companies to meet standards, now in place in Europe, to ban chemicals linked to birth defects, cancer and other health problems. Among those to sign the agreements are the Body Shop and Burt’s Bees manufacturers.

Names of the companies signing the agreement can be found at The Web site’s home page also provides consumers with educational materials about cosmetic safety issues.

U.S. women and girls use an average of 12 personal care products daily including deodorant, shampoos, hair dyes and moisturizers.

This year, California became the first state in the nation to require manufacturers to disclose ingredients on state and federal lists of potentially unsafe chemicals in products. Oregon, Washington, Maryland and New York are considering similar laws.

To look at industry research of special ingredients, go to the Cosmetic Industry Review Web site: