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CPG Management., marketing, Retail

Study: Even ‘safer’ products often have been found to contain toxins


 

Consumer products such as shampoos and sunscreens, even ones touted as safer, may contain potentially harmful chemicals not listed on their labels, according to a study out today that tested dozens of them.

The study tested for 66 chemicals and found 55 of them in the products

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The study tested for 66 chemicals and found 55 of them in the products

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The study tested for 66 chemicals and found 55 of them in the products

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Chemicals that disrupt hormones or affect asthma were found in all 42 of conventional products sampled, as well as in most — 32 of 43 — of the alternative products billed as safer, including some by Seventh Generation, Jason Natural Products and Aubrey Organics, the study by the Silent Spring Institute says. The scientific group studies the links between the environment and women’s health.

“It was disappointing,” says co-author Julia Brody of the findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives and funded partly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says consumers using a typical array of products are exposed to many such chemicals, including parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan and fragrances.

Seventh Generation, which makes six of the alternative products tested, welcomed the study’s goal of educating consumers but questioned its methodology. Martin Wolf, its director of product sustainability, says the company uses none of the chemicals the study found in three of its products.

“The fact that trace amounts were found raises questions” about possible cross-contamination in either manufacturing or testing, he says. “There are so many dirty chemicals in this world that they’re finding their way into everything.”

John Spengler, a professor of environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study, says the work is “very important” for spotlighting health concerns and alerting companies to possible cross-contamination in products, whether from the supply chain or the packaging.

“You don’t want to worry people beyond a reasonable extent,” he says, adding that trace amounts of some chemicals may not pose a problem. Still, he says, there’s a “synergistic,” cumulative effect from broad use of chemicals, so it’s important to look at them as a group.

The study, which tested for 66 chemicals and found 55 of them in the products, says sunscreens and fragranced products had the most target chemicals and some of the highest concentrations.

Brody, who says there needs to be a more complete listing and testing of a product’s ingredients, urges consumers to use fewer products, seek plant-based ingredients and rely on plain water, baking soda and vinegar for cleaning. She also advises consumers to avoid fragrances, vinyl products and antimicrobials such as triclosan in soap.

via Study: Even ‘safer’ products often have been found to contain toxins – USATODAY.com.

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About Bob Innes

Who am I and what I do best! I am a skilled Sales and Marketing team player known for performing behind the scenes miracles that increase base distribution, improve customer relationship management, exceed annual sales volume,and profitability for Consumer Packaged Goods companies. And I've been doing it for over 15 years. My successful contributions include such clients as Kraft Foods, Mars, Bumble Bee Foods, Unilever, Johnson and Johnson and SC Johnson, and JM Smuckers.

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