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Health: Beauty Products Are A Holiday Favorite, But Some Question If They Are Safe

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stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Beauty products are popular gifts this holiday season, but some groups, like the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, say some contain potentially dangerous ingredients.

We’re talking about everything from shampoo and hair dye, to mascara and body cream. Doctors say most are safe, but Congress is considering new laws governing cosmetics.

Holiday shopping often includes beauty products, makeup, perfume and lotion. They’re nice treats for women, but some worry about safety issues.

“I love the powder makeup but I do wonder, what happens when you breathe it in? Things on the lips. What happens when they get inside your mouth? We just don’t know,” said Dr. Rutledge Forney, a Dermatologist.

The Safe Cosmetics Act, that’s pending in Congress, would require companies to disclose harmful ingredients in a variety of widely used products.

“There’s lead acetate in hair dyes, lead in lipstick, formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane in baby shampoos and other shampoos,” said Lisa Archer, with Friends of the Earth.

But the Personal Care Products Council, which represents companies that sell cosmetics, says the levels of the chemicals are not harmful. It says, “our industry has consistently provided scientific information to assure consumers about the safety of our products.”

It’s up to the companies to make sure their products and ingredients are safe, although the FDA has the ability to take action if a product is thought to be harmful.

“Industry doesn’t deliberately do us harm, but their interest is to basically get a product out there that we’re going to love. We need to make sure that we ask them to make us love it and feel safe using it,” said Dr. Forney.

Some cosmetic companies are phasing out certain chemicals. They say, not because they’re unsafe, but due to consumer demand.

For more information on cosmetic labeling information, visit: www.fda.gov/Cosmetics.

For more information on the Safe Cosmetics Act Information, visit: safecosmetics.org.

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