Consumers Should Get Cosmetic Safety Information From the Real Experts

There is so much information out there on the internet all claiming to be “The Source” for accurate, unbiased data.  Who should you turn to in order to get accurate information on the safety of cosmetic ingredients?  Honestly, it shouldn’t be me or any company that has a vested interest in the cosmetics you purchase.  It should not be a watch group that declares themselves the authority of what is safe for everyone in world.  Saying you are looking out for the best interests of consumers and not your own agenda is lip service. It simply isn’t enough anymore.

Skin Deep Is Not So Deep

“The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working with endorsing organizations, responsible businesses and thousands of citizen activists to shift the cosmetics market toward safer products and to advocate for smarter laws that protect our health from toxic chemicals and encourage innovation of safer alternatives.”

That is what they say. Here are some facts and history.

Many cosmetics companies, including ours, signed on to the Campaign in the early days because we thought their stated goal was in fact their goal.  In other words, we and hundreds of other companies took them at their word.  Now thousands of small businesses have started up in the past 15 years with the single goal to create safe cosmetics. This movement has created the “natural & organic” personal care tidal wave that is sweeping the world today and that is exactly what we are all doing still today.

However, Skin Deep/EWG is misusing information that it has collected from unsuspecting companies like ours and others to panic consumers about embellished or completely fabricated dangers.

Sure, we can formulate a new product every time they sound the alarm, but we are already using the safest ingredients available.  If we reformulate based on incorrect data from Skin Deep/EWG, we would quit using safe ingredients and chose unsafe ones that are condoned by Skin Deep/EWG.

I’m in the business of formulating safe cosmetics, not being jerked around by bad science.

The Danger of False Alarms

Skin Deep/EWG is in the habit of pulling false fire alarms.  When they have been challenged in the past about inaccuracies in their ingredient scoring, they claim that they don’t have access to all the information and/or they can’t possibly research every lead.  I believe it is their responsibility to get all the information, spend as much time as needed to thoroughly research and follow every lead.  This is especially critical because they are appointing themselves as the one stop reliable source for such information.

They can’t have it both ways.

For example, all of the information I found and used in my blog post about The Real Truth About Cocamidopropyl Betaine was public information.  And a team of two of us spent the better part of three days researching accuracy and details.  It was worth every minute because I believe consumers have a right to facts to make good decisions.

Skin Deep/EWG could have done the same thing, if they really wanted to be accurate and authentic in telling consumers the truth. The danger of them failing to conduct adequate research is that consumers are not armed with good information. And when false alarms are sounded, the damage is done immediately and it’s difficult if not impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

The Fine Print

Skin Deep has a disclaimer on its database and consumers would benefit greatly from taking their disclaimer to heart.  It says:

“The chart below indicates that research studies have found that exposure to this ingredient — not the products containing it — caused the indicated health effect(s) in the studies reviewed by Skin Deep researchers. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on the level of exposure to the ingredient and individual susceptibility — information not available in Skin Deep.”

Commonly, the biggest problem with the information is that the warnings come from MSDS that are designed to give safe handling techniques for the 100% undiluted form of the ingredient.

But consumers are never exposed to undiluted ingredients so tests on them are meaningless.  And therein lies the rub. And there’s more.

Consumers never apply a patch of the undiluted ingredient to their skin for 2 to 30 days like some of the tests Skin Deep refers to. Consumers never ingest the tested ingredients and they are not injected with them. None of it is ever left undiluted and unrinsed while being poured directly in their eyes. Yet these are the very testing methods misused by Skin Deep/EWG to scare consumers.

There is no correlation between tests done on an ingredient for internal use and the exposure of a diluted ingredient in topical use.  The fact that Skin Deep/EWG makes it appear that with their ranking system that so many products on the market will seriously cause you harm is so misleading and in my opinion slanderous at best and “tortious interference” at worst.

The Cosmetic Review Panel

The mission of the CIR Panel is: “Mission: The Cosmetic Ingredient Review thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

The CIR Expert Panel is made up of these voting members:

  • Wilma F. Bergfeld, M.D., F.A.C.P., Head of Clinical Research and Dermatopathology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Donald V. Belsito, M.D., Clinical Professor, Medicine (Dermatology), University of Missouri, Ronald A. Hill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Basic Pharaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, The University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Curtis D. Klaassen, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics, School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Daniel C. Liebler, Ph.D., Director, Jim Ayers Institute for Precancer Detection and Diagnosis, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • James G. Marks, Jr., M.D., Professor of Dermatology, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Ronald C. Shank, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, Director, Environmental Toxicology Program, University of California
  • Thomas J. Slaga, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Paul W. Snyder, D.V.M., Ph.D., School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Patholobiology, Purdue University

Liaison Members with no voting power:

  • Rachel Weintraub, Esq., Consumer Federation of America
  • John E. Bailey Ph.D., Executive Vice President-Science, Personal Care Products Council
  • Linda Katz, M.D., M.P.H., Food and Drug Administration, Office of Cosmetics and Colors.

Those are the people with the credentials and expertise to back up their tests, their test methodologies and their conclusions. They don’t have a dog in the fight, they are not paid by “endorsing organization” and they are willing to list their names publicly because the practices they use to determine the safety of cosmetic ingredients are scientific and thorough.  Unlike Skin Deep, whose experts are questionable at best, give the poor science they use and the activist scare tactics that have and continue to damage businesses around the country. To learn more about the CIR Expert Panel click here.

Given a choice of which “expert” group to get information from I throw my hat in with the CIR Expert Panel!  How about you, who do you believe and why?

  • Dawn

    Kayla, love this post, thank you. —Dawn

  • http://healthybun.wordpress.com Healthy Bun

    Hi Kayla,

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. It seems to me that one of the fundamental problems here is that there just isn't enough good scientific information on the effects of many chemicals used in cosmetics (though this is starting to change for a few chemicals, such as phthalates). I imagine that EWG is using MSDS data because it simply has no other options. I agree, though, that organizations should not extrapolate too widely—you can't make firm conclusions about the health effects of wearing make-up containing ingredient A based on an MSDS for ingredient A that involved testing the ingredient in very different circumstances.

    That said, where do we go from here? Without the right scientific information, consumers are forced to either assume that an ingredient is safe, even though here is not enough data to support that, or assume an ingredient isn't safe, even though there is not enough data to support that, either. I certainly don't want to become paranoid, but I don't want to learn in ten years that the lipstick I have been wearing since my teens has increased my risk for developing a disease or, worse, put my future children at risk. Until we have good science on many of these chemicals, we won't have anywhere to turn, except to our instincts.

  • Cosmetic Chemist

    Bun

    Well said. In addition the CIR has no where near the funding needed to carry out adequate testing on all the materials in use in the industry today.

    Chemist

  • Bitya

    Dear Lady,
    I truly understand that the info provided by SkinDeep is based on the results of the concentrated clean form of each ingredient.
    I told my insurence agent what you wrote here.
    He said that since the products only include small amounts of only compaunded ingredients the insurance company wants an in-writing certificate that none of these chemicals will be absorbed in any of my body’s tissues, not even in tiny amounts, and that even if it does it will never in my life be accumulated to even minorly dangerous amounts.

    If you will do that my insurance company will be most thankful.
    This way, if anything happens to me in the next 50 or so years they will gladly send the bill to you.

    So, are you willing to give me this guaranty in writing?

    Thank you.
    Bitya.

    • Sarah

      Not sure what type of insurance you’re talking about. Is your insurance agent also interested in having such guarantees for incidental UV exposure from being outdoors, chemicals that form the naturally-occurring constituents of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant-derived ingredients, levels of radon that do not exceed the EPA action level (can we know that these small amounts of radon are safe for us?), going swimming, and crossing the road? Who will your insurance agent send the bill to if any of these things can be implicated in you suffering an illness or accident?

      • Bitya

        Well, Sarah, I’ve been cinical of course, but to tell you the truth- yes, you’re right. We do not have any guaranties that life will be hazardless. But that’s why I do things rationaly. Crossing the street seems a necessity.

        On the other hand spreading petrolatum-derived ingredients on my face is no necessity at all even if the hazardness is speculative- why take the risk in the first place…???
        After all you don’t have to look old and unatractive since there are enough companies who make good cosmetics without those controversial materials…

        The same about food. I do not buy processed food as much as I can. For example I make my own mayonaise but I do buy Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard because making them is crazy.

        We eat fresh, but I don’t necessarily buy organic if I don’t have to. For example I buy regular oranges. After all you peel them. But cellery would better be organic.

        About cosmetics I simply learned the information and made myself a list of ingredients to avoid and took it with me shopping. I simply chose the companies or items that meet my standards.

        In any case saying that an organization like skindeep is creating panic is absolute nonsense.
        Those who are interested listen and use the info for their own good,
        Those who don’t believe it go their usual way anyway, so what’s the problem?
        Let us people who are interested in the info get it for our own good and all the others just ignore it.
        No hard feelings! :-)

        • Dene62

          Bitya, thanks to Skin Deep, and the various books written by people who believe that cosmetics are very dangerous, some consumers do panic, and throw out all their current products because they have been scared into believing that they are going to suffer from continuing use. To claim that this is not panic is not correct. Quite apart from the unneccesary environmental damage resulting from this careless response, this is pointless from a health perspective.

          You may happen to believe that Skin Deep offers a guide to safety. It doesn’t, and the disclaimer fro the Skin Deep web site quoted in Kayla’s article supports this. If you still wish to believe, then that is entirely your choice. However, there are those amongst us who feel that it is important to make people aware of the shortcomings/total failure of the database, because then people have ALL the relevant information on which to base their decision.

          Imagine how we would feel when the day comes that it is generally accepted that this database is a con and those people who had truly believed turn round and say “why didn’t you tell us?”.

          We just did :-)

          • Bitya

            Dene62,
            Imagine how we would feel when the day comes that it is generally accepted that this personal care website is a con and those people who have truly believed turn around and say “why didn’t you tell us?”

            Well, truth is they did…

            See? I reversed the speaking parties and it still sounds very persuasive.

            It is easy to speak as if what you say is the truth.
            Chances are neither what you say is 100% true nor SkinDeep’s.
            The truth is never at the far end.

            Truth is always in the middle!!!
            So over the coming years we will probably see that some of those chemicals are harmless and others do some damage.

            In my opinion you go against the panicking skindeep by panicking to the other side.
            That’s not behaving logically as your pretence looks like.

            Logic and commonsense mean moderation!!!

          • Perry Romanowski

            “Truth is always in the middle!!”

            Perhaps this is true in some cases but in matters of fact & science, it is not. For example, the answer to “Are you pregnant?” is either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There is no middle ground.

            On questions like “Is this chemical safe?” there is also no middle ground. However, you have to agree on the meaning of the word ‘safe’. Until EWG & PCT agree on the meaning of the word ‘safe’ there will be no agreement on the answer to whether a compound is safe or not.

          • Bitya

            I’ll give you a “middle ground” scientific example:
            Even the mildest sunscreens contain ZINC OXIDE which is scientifically considered not the safest chemical.
            On the other hand the sun itself is hazardous enough.
            So I had to decide whether I prefer to get cancer from the sun or from the zinc… :-)
            I chose to use sunscreen but to limit very tightly my direct exposure to the sun (I live in a very hot country).
            To tell you I’m very happy with my decision?- No, I am not.
            But it is the best I can do under the scientific uncertainty we have.
            This is what I call commonsense moderation.

          • Sarah

            I can’t speak to the safety of ZO, as I’m not an expert. The interesting thing in what you say to me is that in some ways when you talk about moderation, you’re talking about a risk model (meaning, that ill effects from all substances are related to the amounts you’re exposed to). The skin deep database is a hazard model (meaning, substances are categorically harmful or not, no consideration of the amounts involved). PCT has advocated for a risk model (incidentally, the way that toxicologists view safety decisions as well), and in this sense, it seems like maybe you have found some common ground with PCT, as opposed to skin deep.

          • Sarah

            I think to translate Perry’s position in terms of the risk model of toxicity, it would be that the threshold level of concern (minimum dose that would expected to be toxic/unsafe) for many substances is known, and not in dispute by people who study these things. I can see that maybe it is not 100% black and white (there will always be people who have unusual allergic reactions, for example). But to play with this idea a bit: we know that apples, apricots, and some other fruits contain naturally-occurring cyanide–but how many case reports are there of people who ate any normal quantity of these fruits and as a result, had cyanide poisoning? Although I haven’t looked at the literature, my guess is the answer is zero. The amounts of cyanide in these fruits (although detectable) is known to be too small to pose a risk.

          • Bitya

            I can think of spinach. We know that the Ferum in it cannot be well absorved by the body so fruit cyanide might work the same way.
            On the other hand we do not really know if natural copounds are absorbed in out tissues at the same way or rate as artificial ones.
            Maybe this is the first thing scientist must deal with.

          • Dene62

            A truly nature-identical substance will behave in exactly the same way as the substance extracted from nature – the body as no means of determining the origin of the material. I am not sure what is meant by “fruit cyanide”, but if this means the cyanide anion, then this will behave in exactly the same way as synthetic cyanide ions. The same is true for sorbic acid, benzoic acid and any other “nature-identical” substance you care to mention.

            It is not possible to generalise about natural substances or synthetic substances in terms of how the body deals with them, because the body will deal with each individual substance on the basis of its chemistry/biochemistry.

          • Sarah

            In general terms, what you say is logical to me as someone with a couple of courses in chemistry taken decades ago. But there are cases where another chemical in a fruit or vegetable interferes with absorption of the first chemical–e.g., oxalates? (I think) and/or vitamin A in spinach interferes with all of the calcium in it being absorbed. I think the same can be true in man-made formulations, though–correct? And I suspect this may be the exception rather than the rule.

          • Sarah

            Another type of interaction or canceling out effect that’s been discussed here and elsewhere is when the same chemical (natural or man-made) can be both potentially mutagenic/carcinogenic and potentially anti-carcinogenic/anti-oxidant–on balance, it doesn’t produce cancers even though it has some properties that might lead to that concern. And again, this could apply to either natural or man-made chemicals. Correct me if I butchered the science in this comment…

          • Dene62

            Sarah, I think the bottom line on this is that my statement is basically correct, but it is, of course impossible to consider all the possible interactions from other components, either from the natural source (if the substance in question is not purified), or from the cosmetic product.

          • Sarah

            Really? Don’t you want to obsess about minutia with me?

          • Daydreamsblog

            @ Dene — the reality is, we have no real way of knowing whether or not a truly nature-identical substance will behave in exactly the same way as one extracted from nature, and I for one don’t think they will in many cases. We are energy. We have a life force. Google “uncanny valley effect” – I believe we have a similar evolutionary “something” that recognizes the difference when it comes to things chemical, too. I used to run a holistic health care center and the practitioners would never microwave their food because they said it would kill the life force. That is not something you measure in a chemistry lab. When you recieve Reiki energy – you can’t measure that in a chemistry lab. Things are happening energetically that we simply have not invented the machine to measure. Just like the universe had radio waves before we invented the actual radio transmitter and receiver. We are transmitting and recieving…and some day we will be able to measure that and document it. Food for thought…

          • Dene62

            Sue – I can’t debate with you on your beliefs – I need something that has measurable proof. Your belief may one day be proved correct, but until your proposed “life force” can be measured, it can be no more than just faith. I cannot accept that a synthetic molecule of, say, potassium sorbate would be treated at all differently than naturally-occuring potassium sorbate. Life operates on a molecular level, and molecules don’t come with labels to identify their origin. I am no expert in “Reiki energy”, but the power of suggestion can carry these things a very long way – the placebo offect being a prime example.

            This is not really a forum to dabte beliefs – it is a scientific forum, based on cosmetic science.

          • Sarah

            It doesn’t mean cyanide anion, by the way. These are what are called cyanogenic precursors or cyanogenic glycosides. In the case of apple seeds, the chemical is amygdalin (AKA laetrile). When the amygdalin molecule is hydrolyzed, hydrogen cyanide is released. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp8-c4.pdf And indeed, the fact that it is a plant source makes no difference–if enough of some plants that contain a related compound (prunasin) is consumed (e.g., by animals), they do get cyanide poisoning and can die from it. http://www.vet.purdue.edu/toxic/plant46.htm BUT–since the amygdalin in apples is in the seeds, probably not much (if any) of it is present in the fruit–you’d have to bite or cut the seeds to release it (which many of us have done from time to time, but you’d need a lot of seeds to get sick). That said, my dad (who was a chemistry major undergraduate, and rather overprotective) used to tell us as children not to eat apple seeds on purpose. http://ipcblog.org/2010/05/25/my-favorite-poisonous-fruit/

          • Bitya

            Hi Sarah,
            Interestingly enough I went back to skin deep to look again at the info about the sunscreens. I found out that although ZO as a compound is rated 4 “as fairly hazardous” still all the items themselves are rated only as 0-1 which meens that there definitely is a consideration of the amount of a compaund in a product.
            As I looked farther I saw that no item is rated at the rate of the most hazarfous compound but somewhere in the midle of the overall summing.

          • Sarah

            I see your point–although others have pointed out inconsistencies on skip deep that aren’t logical, so it may not be because they are considering the amount, although it would be nice if it were. As I see it, the hazard rating itself is bound to be flawed because by its nature, it suggests that we can rate substances for toxic/adverse effect without consideration of the dose needed to produce those effects.

          • Perry Romanowski

            I didn’t disagree that there wasn’t a middle ground sometimes. Sometimes there is.

            Although I’m not sure your example has a middle ground. As I understand it, in your example you are faced with the following question.

            “What is the best way to have the least chance of getting cancer, use sunscreen with ZO or no sunscreen?”

            I don’t see a middle ground here. One option will lead to less cancer cases than the other. Unfortunately, we don’t have a study to give the exact answer. This would require a study with the following four groups.

            1. No sun exposure, no ZO exposure
            2. No sun exposure, ZO exposure
            3. Sun exposure, no ZO exposure
            4. Sun exposure, ZO exposure

            Follow them for a decade and see which group has the most cancer.

            Since we can’t do that, the best we can do is to take indirect studies and guess at the best answer. Toxicologists & cancer researchers have done this and their conclusion is that the best strategy is to wear ZO sunscreens if you are going to be exposed to the sun.
            http://www.tga.gov.au/npmeds/sunscreen-zotd.pdf

            The problem is that the EWG doesn’t agree with the risk assessment of professional scientists. I can only guess why they don’t.

            Why don’t you agree with the risk assessments of independent professional scientists?

          • Sarah

            Thanks Perry. I think I had misunderstood your earlier comment. You had said, “in questions like, ‘Is this chemical safe?’ there is also no middle ground.” I see now that you didn’t mean that is always true for every chemical safety question.

          • Sarah

            P.S. I don’t know why but my browser goes nuts every time I try to click on your link. Not sure if others are unable to access it. I will try to type in the url.

          • Sarah

            Thanks, I found it–I haven’t finished reading it, but so far it’s a great summary of the data. I use zinc oxide sunscreens as well.

          • Chemist

            and until they are willing to discuss amicably there will be no agreement. The owners of PCT have made it repeatedly very clear, they have no desire to discuss or find middle ground. So most discussions about this seem to make no real progress. that is a shame, when I first came here I thought there would be good open discussion.

            I am still holding out, but replying less and less

            peace
            B

          • Sarah

            Does good open discussion always have to involve meeting in the middle? Can people disagree, not agree to a factual position that they think is not valid solely for the sake of seeming amicable, but still have a good open discussion? It seems to me we can meet in the middle on where to have dinner out together, but we may not be able to meet in the middle on questions of data and what the data show. That doesn’t mean everyone can’t participate in the discussion respectfully, though.

          • Chemist

            you do have to agree on definitions and terms, ideas and facts no. part of the big problem in these discussion is there are no terms defined? An ambiguity used by both sides.

          • Sarah

            I agree, things could get vague if terms and definitions are not defined. I think what I was responding to was your comment that the owners of PCT have no desire to find “middle ground.” It implied to me that you thought there had to be some negotiation or meeting in the middle on ideas and facts in order for the discussion to be amicable–but I could have misunderstood you.

          • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

            Hey Bruce -

            Thanks for your comments. As I stated to you last year before Thanksgiving in the following post, http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/11/should-you-fear-cosmetics/#comment-100896550, Kristin and I talked to Stacy Malkan about middle ground. While we were under the impression we would be discussing just that, we found out it was nothing more than 1.5hr discussion of nothing.

            Have a great night!

            Lisa

          • Chemist

            if I could link I would. that is not what you said. nothing too surprising in that though.

            Where did you mention 1.5 hours? You said you had no interest in dialogue at that point in time.
            That was what I was referring too, and you say it right in that passage linked

            Why do you not allow people to link or copy from this site? Are you afraid to have your views shared in an open way? If you back up what you say why not let it be reprinted, or at least linked to other parts of your own site?

            may you find unicorns happiness and rainbows in all your future endeavors
            B

          • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

            Hey Bruce -

            What do you mean if you could link, you would? As for the 1.5hours, I never mentioned in our LinkedIn discussion, or here, how long Kristin and I talked with Stacy Malkan on March 8, 2010 @ 5PM EST. I’m sure the conference call I set up for that day has records of our conversation length.

            We do not allow people to copy from this site to protect the authors works from being passed off somewhere else as belonging to someone else. Whenever we post an article from another site on PCT, I always ask for permission in writing, and give credit to the site and author. There are plenty of people on the internet that do not. When you right click, you should see the explanation given. Not surprised you chose to ask if I was “afraid to have our views shared in an open way”.

            As the right click states: “All content and images on this site are copy protected. Please send a message via the contact page to request permission to use an image or content. Thank you!” So, in other words, all anyone has to do is contact us to receive permission to use an image or article. No fear here.

            As for links, we don’t prevent them. We let comments with links go into moderation for approval to make sure it isn’t someone spamming us. In our first few months, we were over run with spam comments that had nothing to do with the subject at hand, and were sometimes promoting less than desirable sites. In your case, you shouldn’t have a problem because you were added to our white list, so we don’t have to moderate if you have a link.

            Hope that clarifies things. Have a great night!

            Lisa

          • Daydreamsblog

            Lisa – it seems to me you violated an unwritten rule of running a forum…the poster “chemist” didn’t sign his name…yet you addressed him as Bruce in your reply. His DISQUS profile also does not list his name. So clearly the way you know who this poster is, is by having access to his email address or some other method available only to your forum owners/moderators. My blog is a WordPress Blog too…so I know you can see the email address for the person commenting.

            Whomever you are “B” — I agree with you completely. There is a handy way to bypass the PCT Scare website “right click” blocking, their posts are duplicated on Facebook…so you can copy and paste from there rather than retyping when you want to quote a specific statement.

            And Lisa…you are not truthful when you say that “whenever we post an article from another site we always ask for permission in writing” — you posted the entire summary of the “Safe Chemicals Bill of 2011″ from the Senator’s website without giving credit to him as the author!

          • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

            Daydreamsblog -

            Thanks for your comments. While I can appreciate you obvious need to be right, you are incorrect in regards to me knowing “B” as Bruce. He has signed many a comments on PCT as “B”, and we’ve had the same discussion in comments before.

            As for the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011″, you are half correct. While I neglected to include a link on the page to Senator Lautenberg’s site, it was included in our trackback, so they would be aware we linked to it. Just as I neglected to change the author’s name from mine to guest, as it was brought up on the PCT Facebook page, it was corrected. It was not intentional. Unlike some, I am able to admit when I am wrong or make an error. They all have been corrected.

            Have a great night!

            Lisa

          • Chemist

            really??

            “unlike others …..”

            wow.. can you comment without it getting personal or filled with passive agressive barbs?

            Lisa, this type of stuff is the reason people are turned off by your site, ok or at least I am.

            I assume that was not directed at me, but…….your history points otherwise

            more rainbows and unicorns

            B

          • Sarah

            I’m not sure it’s fair to judge Lisa’s tendency toward passive-aggression–or lack thereof–from a reply she made in response to being accused of (let’s see) lying, running a blog in an unethical manner, and trying to prevent information from being shared.

          • Chemist

            I accused her of only two of those, both of which she admitted to…

          • Sarah

            In her post that you considered passive aggressive, she was responding to daydreamsblog, not you.

          • chemist

            and I was replying to Perry, didn’t address her at all… what’s your point?

          • Sarah

            I am off this thread at this point. I stand by what I said–Lisa was responding to daydreamsblog, who said some things to Lisa that most of us would find insulting if we were on the receiving end. If Lisa’s response was a little sharp, that doesn’t say anything about her disposition. We have to be fair and not expect everyone to be on their best behavior when they’re responding to accusatory comments.

          • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

            Hey Bruce -

            “Unlike others?” It was “unlike some”, and it is a general statement. I’m sorry if you read more in to it. It was not directed at you or anyone on this site.

            As for the EWG and posting their salaries, it’s not slander if it’s true, and it would be libel if we were guilty. The EWG information is a matter of public record, and part of the cosmetic industry, so naturally they would be a part of this site in a post.

            I’m afraid we will have to agree to disagree.

            Have a great night!

            Lisa

          • Chemist

            daydreamers
            When I was posting here more regularly they googled me , and brought in comments about my personal life that had nothing to do with conversations here. I am not surprised by anything.

            my name is bruce, and not afraid of that.. or of any of the things they found by the google search. It is just sort of typical of the slander that they have used against anyone who disagrees with their propaganda. Like posting salaries of EWG employees.

            and not all “experts” here are to blame for the actions of a few bad ones…I actually like most of them

            peace
            B

          • Anonymous

            Bruce? Lavender fields Bruce, by chance? And why would you be googled?

            Tina S

          • lavender fields bruce

            i guess I’m special.. Or a threat that needed to be slandered? Who knows why people do what they do.

            I try not to guess, just enjoy the ride

            peace
            B

          • Anonymous

            It’s good to “see” you again. I wanted to share what I found here in my own state: a lavender farm up north. :) Made me very happy.

            Tina S

          • Chemist

            that picture was from a farm in the San Juan islands in Washington state. Very beautiful place. I may retire there, if I ever make enough money in this industry to retire :))

            Peace
            B

          • Anonymous

            I’m not sure if you tried to send a picture but I did go and find some. Lovely doesn’t do the area justice. It looks like you get a bit of everything (beach, whales, boating, green areas, historic areas) and the weather is reasonable. Loved the pics of the red foxes! I hope you are able to retire there as you’d like. :)

            Tina S

          • Daydreamsblog

            I’ve thrown out bread when I have discovered mold — would you consider me to have over-reacted and in a total panic? I doubt it.

            I’ve thrown out other food that smelled off. Also, minus any panic. I think a consumer, upon finding out that there are ingredients in a cosmetic that they have a concern with, and opting for a different brand or type of product, is no less a sign of panic.

            Where is your “open-mindedness” Dene? Why are you judging another’s choice?

            The only panic I see is all the PCT experts racing to their computer screens every time someone says anything that might open the door for attacking Skin Deep yet again.

            It’s really getting old. I realize your entire website here is based on attacking anyone who trys to raise awareness that there are ingredients in cosmetics that are hazardous or could prove hazardous…but the constant drum beat of “they are trying to scare you” – “they cause panic” – they, they, they…really old.

            There would be no science, there would be no innovation, there would be no discoveries if people didn’t dream beyond what is a “fact” today, and wonder, imagine, even worry. Open your mind and realize that it is that inner voice, that nagging feeling, which may not always be backed by peer reviewed scientific studies to cast away the shadow of a doubt, that might lead to the next discovery and while you may believe that all cosmetic are already safe, as I have read you write time and time again, there are products out there that are unsafe.

            When we can go to a hair salon and be exposed to a cosmetic product that has as much formaldehyde as embalming fluid… your blindness to what is actually happening to woman (and men) out there scares me far more than anything I have ever read by the Skin Deep folks.

          • Dene62

            I don’t consider there to be any validity to a comparison of the situation where you can see a visible or olefactory effect in a foodstuff that is clearly detectable to the situation where someone has decided on the basis of unsubstantiated evidence that a cosmetic product is dangerous.

            I am open-minded – if someone proves to me that any specific cosmetic ingredient is not safe to be used, I will accept the evidence. You appear to think that I am not open-minded simply because I cannot agree with you. This website does not “attack” anything or anyone. If someone is perceived to be wrong, then there may be criticism offered, or a simple rebuttal. Attack is an emotive, inaccurate and unneccesary word.

            I have the right to comment on someone else’s choice, if I so wish, as others do to me, on this site and elsewhere – just as you are doing in your own comments to me and others.

            The example of the dangers of the Brazilian Blowout is a single example of an apparently dangerous product – there are many thousands of other products out there for which there is no evidence of any risk in their use.

            The majority of the articles posted on PCT do not even mention Skin Deep. I will not apologise for giving my opinion on Skin Deep when it is within the context of the discussion. I don’t panic when I do this, and I suspect that no other contributor does so. I am not sure how you manage to have the vision of PCT experts “racing to their computer screens”. If someone makes a comment about the database, I have the right to respond as I see fit – as do you.

            I don’t rely on any “inner voice” – I don’t hear voices. I rely on robust scientific evidence.

            I will engage further only on the basis of scientific evidence being provided – I am not going to get into discussion on gut feelings.

          • Sarah

            This is a side track, Dene, but do all of the brazilian blowout products contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde, or only some of the products on the market?

          • Dene62

            I honestly don’t know, Sarah. As far as I am aware, BB is a trade name, and it does seem as though there is something wrong with the product, but I am not prepared to judge it emphatically, because I don’t know all the details. All I DO know is that this product has given formaldehyde a very bad press and that it appears that much higher concentrations of formaldehyde are involved, compared with those present when formaldehyde donors are used as preservatives. The industry could do without this, as it could with ANY truly unsafe product. Fortunately, a very rare occurance, but it has given people a chance to say very ill-informed things about formaldehyde.

          • Sarah

            I thought BB was a type of process, not a brand–but I could be wrong. The brains did a post about it, and it sounded like certain brands were known to contain unsafe levels but I didn’t know what percent of the BB type products on the market fall into that category. At any rate, I was just curious. As you say, it isn’t the main point you were making.

          • http://greenskincareblog.com/ Kristin Fraser Cotte

            it’s a brand and a process from my understanding Sarah. Have you read Doug Schoon’s posts? He’s an expert on the site who has been following BB closely.

          • Sarah

            I have, but not recently. I have to admit I may have had a little bit of trouble following the article about methylene glycol vs formaldehyde because I’m not a chemist–except that as I recall, the estimate of formaldehyde content could be an overestimate if methylene glycol is treated as a synonym for it (?not sure I’m understanding/remembering correctly). Thanks for the reminder, though–maybe I will post my question to him.

          • Sarah

            I also wonder–why isn’t it “getting old” for you when skin deep accuses many cosmetics manufacturers (big and small companies) of making unsafe products? Isn’t that “they, they, they” to you as well? Why is the EWG NOT attacking, and cosmetic chemists (and it is not just cosmetic chemists, but toxicologists as well) responding to public accusations that they believe to be inaccurate IS attacking?

          • Daydreamsblog

            Oh I am an equal opportunity critic! I’m the first one here to come out against their “Safe Cosmetics 2011″ campaign and have written for YEARS about how worthless, misleading, unaccurate, unfair, – need I go on – the Skin Deep database is. I met Dene for the fist time in a debate with Stacy on her blog. (We were on the same side! SURPRISE!!) But I don’t attribute the things they do wrong as being in orer to “scare” people. I believe they believe. They are simply wrong about a lot. Not everything…but a lot. I guess this would be a good time to thank you for unblocking me, since you can’t possibly not know my real name by now. Sue

          • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

            Daydreamsblog -

            Thanks for your comments Sue. I also appreciate you validating my suspicions. As we say around here, “you can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl”. Your comments resonate as the same ole, same ole. I had a gut feeling it was you, however, I operate on proof.

            Thanks for the clarification, or should I say, the truth.

            Have a great night!

            Lisa

          • Daydreamsblog

            I never hid the fact that the daydreamsblog was my blog and I think I always posted a link, so it wasn’t exactly a secret! I did just create a Facebook page coordinated with my blog though…that is new. I was surprised one day to visit PCT and see the “comment” box instead of the “you are banned from posting” and just posted! That was nice of you…thanks. Sue

          • Dene62

            Thanks, Sue, for finally “coming out”! We can now be open in our further discussions – it has been a frustrating couple of weeks! Yes, we agree on many things, and I have been enjoying your posts (well, some of them, at least) on the CFSC FB page, and your jibes at me on the Botanical Elements FB page :-).

            It is debatable as to whether or not the EWG deliberately scare people with their propaganda, but the end result is the same – people get scared enough to throw out perfectly good, safe products because of the things published by EWG and their supporters – without proper scientific evidence.

            Just one question – you announced on the BE Facebook page (under your real name) that you were phasing out your campaign in cosmetics in order to concentrate on environmental issues. Will you now be announcing that you have not done this, as it would seem that you have been extremely active on PCT?

            This aside, I think we should get back to the debate.

          • Daydreamsblog

            @ Dene — nope…still phasing! Just taking baby steps. Please do not take this to mean I no longer care about safe cosmetics or most importantly to me, getting rid of synthetic fragrances in cosmetics and household products. I care just as much, but I am trying to refocus my energies. I am learning so much from my children (aged 22 and 24) about issues important to them such as sustainability and most recently, the really serious issue of plastic pollution, that I am really passionate about learning more about those issues. Sue