Watchdog Group Petitions FDA for Warning Labels on 356 Personal Care Products

Shampoos, Skin Creams and Other Products Found to Lack Safety Data

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Link to petition.

WASHINGTON, June 14 — Environmental Working Group (EWG) today petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recall or issue warning labels on a wide array of personal care products whose ingredients have not been adequately assessed for safety or may harm health.

The legal action was prompted by a 6-month EWG computer investigation. Researchers found that 356 personal care products contain ingredients that, according to the chemical industry's own review panel, lack sufficient data to support their safe use in personal care products. The products included shampoos, shaving products, moisturizers and other common items sold under brand names such as Jergens, L'Oreal, St. Ives, Dove and more.

The EWG study found that another 19 products, including Desitin Diaper Rash Ointment and Stridex Triple Action Pads, contain ingredients that, according to industry assessments, may cause harm when used as directed on the product label. EWG seeks a recall or warning label on those products as well. Only 11 per cent of 10,500 personal care product ingredients have been publicly assessed for safety.

The EWG petition is the most comprehensive legal challenge FDA has faced over personal care products to date. Because FDA has no definition for the term "safe" as it applies to personal care products, EWG requested the Agency give practical meaning to its term "adequately substantiated for safety." EWG also petitioned FDA to require internet vendors to clearly list all ingredients in all products they are selling, and to assess the safety of chemical ingredients that have not been studied by industry or the government.

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