Organic cosmetics

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Hannah and Felicia were here and Cosmetic products that are made with organic ingredients are made without the use of harsh chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved pesticides to be used long before research was done that now has linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Many manufacturers are misleading when it comes to labels on the back of organic cosmetics. U.S. courts have not allowed the FDA to regulate industry use of terms like "natural." Cosmetic marketers can by law assign such terms whatever meaning they choose. For example, manufacturers may use the word "organic" in its scientific sense in which it simply means “containing carbon.”

In order for cosmetics to truly if you are in mrs doss's class i am soooo sorry i love cats!!!! be organic, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) suggests that all the cleaning and conditioning ingredients be made from organic materials, the manufacturing process should be simple and ecological, and non-agricultural water like floral water or botanical water should not be used.

I can't belviee you're not playing with me--that was so helpful.
I can't belviee you're not playing with me--that was so helpful.

Certification of Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Cosmetic companies can voluntarily seek organic certification from third-parties such as the USDA, IFOAM, Australian Certified Organic, BDIH, Ecocert, the UK Soil Association, Quality Assurance International, and Organic Food Chain. The meaning of certification will depend upon the standards of the particular organization awarding it.

For example, a product can carry the USDA organic label if it contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The product label can say “made with organic ingredients” if 70% or more of the ingredients are organic, and if less than 70% of the ingredients are organic, the product can only include the term “organic” on the ingredients list, not on the principal display panel.

Certification from the UK Soil Association requires that at least 95% of the ingredients be organic in order for a product to labeled organic, and for products with 70-95% organic ingredients, labels can say “made with X% organic ingredients” and must state the percentage of organic ingredients. Soil Association certified products should be minimally processed. Ingredients and processes hazardous to the environment are to be avoided. GMO’s, ingredients of petro-chemical origin, and the surfactants sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate are prohibited.

Organic certification requires that companies keep extensive records of production, handling, and processing. They must generally allow the certifying organization to audit their records, conduct on-site inspections, and conduct tests on product ingredients if requested. Certification fees can run from several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending upon the size of the company.

Alternative Consumer Resources

In addition to organic certification, consumers can turn to other resources for help in selecting safe personal care products.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides a valuable “Skin Deep” database of public information for consumers. It provides a list of ingredients, a hazard score, and a data gap score for over 50,000 personal care products. The data gap score is required because beauty care companies are not required to provide public information about the ingredients in their products, and therefore, for some products, EWG has only limited information about what is in them. The more information they have, the lower the data gap score.

The hazard rating score is based on the EWG’s research, correlating the ingredients contained in particular products with government and academic research on how hazardous they are. Several factors are taken into account when assigning a hazard score to a product, including the seriousness of the type of health risk posed, the degree of certainty with which researchers have concluded that ingredients pose a risk, and the amount of the hazardous substance that is absorbed through the skin.

Some companies provide EWG hazard scores for their products on their websites. In an article on Natural Makeup and Personal Care Products, WeBuyItGreen, an online eco mall, explains that it uses the EWG database to screen products that it allows merchants to list on its site. To qualify to be listed, health and beauty products must include an ingredients list and either include certified organic ingredients or be assigned a hazard score of two of less by the Environmental Working Group database.

Another resource for concerned consumers is the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. By signing this agreement, companies pledge that their personal care products meet European Union Directive 76/768/EEC to be free of chemicals strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation, or birth defects. If the companies have hazardous materials in their beauty care products, they must present a plan to replace them within three years and report on progress in achieving this goal. They must also disclose all ingredients, submit them to the EWG Skin Deep database, and keep this information updated.

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