"Sorry, I can't tonight, I'm washing my hair. With cancer."

5 June 2009

Here's a website to scare the living Bejesus out of you this lunchtime, especially if you applied too much rouge this morning. The Skin Deep cosmetic safety database cross-references nearly 42,000 beauty and skin products and the 8,000 chemicals they're produced from, with over 50 toxicity and regulatory databases. It then provides a hazard rating for each product as well as a "data gap" rating, which indicates how much/how little safety data can be attributed to the product. In many instance, you can also click on a list of products that are considered to be safe, should you wish to stop smearing death all over your face.

Although the database is built on products available in the US, there are plenty which are on sale in the UK markets. When we searched for hair conditioning products, it was Pantene that came out on top, with a long list of exotic chemicals to give you untangled hair with a shine that lasts all day:

A quick google for oxybenzone won't make you feel any better. So why would such products ever reach the market? According to Skin Deep, "due to gaping loopholes in federal law, companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products... even worse, the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them."

Googling will also find you criticism of the database, such as the validity of the research sources used, and failing to differentiate between organic and non-organic products. For our money, if there are two products which do the same job, one with a safe rating and one with DANGER scrawled across it, we'll plump for the former, thanks.

via [Boing Boing]

10 comments

  • acecatcher3
    does it say that it gives u cancer??
  • Paul S.
    It's a facetious headline, qualified by the story below it.
  • acecatcher3
    yeah i read it dude, just didnt see cancer anywhere else in the article, im not worried i dont have much hair anyway!
  • Mike L.
    Maybe it ss a tumour, maybe it's Maybelline.
  • acecatcher3
    i dont think there should ever really be a time to laugh about cancer myself, maybe thats just because its affected ppl i know. it is quite worrying isnt it that more and more things are being linked with cancer, do u think that cancer will ever be something that in the future people say "they just didnt have the technology to find a cure" abit like all of the illnesses hundreds of years ago which killed back then but can be treated with antibiotics/medicine now?
  • Dave P.
    Ace, cancer is funny. its that simple mate.
  • Jill
    It doesn't give you cancer, but they contain small quantities of carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) that would increase you risk of developing it. Whether the risk is negligible or not, I don't know.
  • abc
    Thanks for the link, now I can go spend 6 times as much on "organic" products.
  • Ian
    Organic products are rarely much better - they're still chemicals too. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and few people are qualified chemists to make evaluations. For example, many products are branded dangerous by the database as they contain small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, but they have no chemical understanding to know that at concentrations used, it will all be water (yes, it decomposes into water).
  • Curious
    Ian: genuine question here, not trolling - if if the small amounts of hydrogen peroxide used in the product all decompose into water, why not just put water in the product in the first place?

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment