Toxic Products Marketed to Black Women
Chemicals linked to infertility in nail products? Cancer-causing chemicals in skin lighteners? Hair relaxers with ingredients linked to immunesystem problems and hormone disruption? What’s going on?
Black women are disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace, in communities and from cosmetics.
Products marketed to blackwomen (like hair relaxers and skin lighteners) contain some of the most toxic chemicals used by the cosmetics industry. Many cosmetics chemicals have never even been assessed for safety. Black womenspend an estimated $5.7 billion a year on beauty and salon products and services, and, on average, visit a salon more than twice a month. Market research suggests that black women spend twice as muchon skin care than women in other demographics. So, black women spend more on and use more cosmetics, and these products often have a higher toxicity than those marketed to the general population. Buthere is the good news: Black women are a very powerful consumer group! With this kind of buying power, black women can change the industry by demanding—and buying—non-toxic products that are safer forour health. Send the beauty industry a message by making your demands known and by taking your dollars to companies that pledge to make safer products free of toxic chemicals.
Is it legal to puttoxic ingredients in personal care products?
In the United States, it’s perfectly legal for products that we use every day to contain chemicals linked to breast cancer, hormone disruption, birthdefects and other chronic health problems that are on the rise. The $50 billion personal care products industry has “regulated” itself for decades, and even argues that “just a little bit” of a toxicchemical in a product is OK. It’s not OK: these chemicals are getting into our bodies and can be passed on to our babies. They can be potent even in small doses. And they add to our toxic exposures from...