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Toxic heavy metals in lipsticks threaten health of women and unborn babies

by PF Louis

(NaturalNews) It may seem like another pattern to break or drop while pregnant: first, smoking; then, wine sipping; and now – cosmetics? According to the evidence from independent researchers and lab analysts, the price of enhancing beauty with most commercial cosmetics goes beyond dollars and cents. The cosmetic pay-later plan involves risking one’s health and the health of one’s unborn baby.

Toxic chemical and heavy metal content exists in almost all commercial cosmetic products. You’d have to go to a health food store and purchase the good, clean stuff at a higher price maybe. Still, even there, reading the labels and knowing what to avoid is worth it if you use underarm deodorants, cosmetic potions and lotions, as well as scalp and skin care products.

Consumer activism and awareness raising

Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition in Manila, the Philippines, has raised concerns that cosmetic chemical toxins and heavy metals affect both mother and baby. She thinks this may be part of the reason why umbilical cord blood from birthing mothers contains up to 300 contaminants.

To prover her point, EcoWaste had some members scatter into outer Manila, buying up cosmetic samples from different manufacturers and bringing them in for heavy metal analysis. EcoWaste discovered that all of them contained traces of heavy metals, but some even exceeded the limits on heavy metals in cosmetics set by ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations).

Many had levels of mercury, lead, and arsenic too high for ASEAN’s Cosmetic Directive limits. Other heavy metals discovered in many cosmetics gathered in EcoWaste’s dragnet were chromium, barium and cadmium. Lucero warned, “Pregnant or lactating women may expose developing foetuses and infants to the risk of toxic metals poisoning when they use these tainted products.”

Here in mainland USA, another group has adopted the mission of policing cosmetic products for chemical toxins and heavy metals and gathering that data for consumer protection. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a complete database for rating cosmetic products here ( Below are summaries of their lists.

EWG scientists recommend avoiding products with these ingredients:

* Fragrance and dyes
* DMDM hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG”
* Chemicals ending in “-eth”
* Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
* Triclosan and triclocarban
* Triethanolamine (TEA)

EWG’s list of products to avoid:

* Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids
* Hair dyes containing ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene and all dark, permanent hair dyes.
* Liquid hand soaps with triclosan
* Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde

Formaldehyde may not be listed as an ingredient, because many cosmetic manufacturers are switching to formaldehyde-releasing chemicals that break down slowly under solution to produce formaldehyde. This is a sneaky method of adding the preservative formaldehyde without saying it’s there, because it’s not added initially, but the listed chemical ingredients’ releasing activity brew formaldehyde on and on.

If you don’t want a product that contains a formaldehyde-releasing chemical, you have to play detective and scrutinize the product label.

Chemicals in this category include:

* DMDM hydantoin
* Imidazolidinyl urea
* Diazolidinyl urea
* Quaternium-15
* Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol)
* 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane
* Hydroxymethylglycinate

Actually, abstaining from cosmetics during pregnancy may be easier for many than giving up smoking or alcohol completely. Of course, all manner of avoiding heavy metals and chemical toxins should be part of the lifestyle of expectant mothers.

Finding up to 300 contaminants in umbilical cord blood indicates that the mother inadvertently passes on these toxins to the fetus. Avoiding as much heavy metal and additive chemical toxins as possible can reward you a safe birth with a healthy baby whose growth continues in health.

Sources for this article include:


Consumer Reports finds soda contains too much carcinogenic chemical without warning labels

The chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI, is often used in sodas, where it appears on ingredients labels as “caramel coloring.” But studies have shown that this chemical used in many dark-colored beverages can cause cancer, leading the state of California to limit manufacturers to 29 micrograms of exposure to the compound per day for the average consumer. Companies that fail to comply with this rule will have to label their products, “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.” In response, soda manufacturers, such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have reformulated their products sold in California to reduce the amount of the chemical used.

However, as Consumer Reports recently found, still not all sodas comply with the California regulation. Researchers for the magazine tested 29 beverages in California and New York that had exceeded 29 mcg of 4-MeI in prior tests performed earlier in 2013. They found that most of the drinks had their amounts of caramel color significantly reduced, but Pepsi One and Malta Goya still exceeded the limit, and neither of them carried the required warning labels.

Consumer Reports additionally found that Pepsi One purchased in New York had four times as much 4-MeI as Pepsi One purchased in California. The tested beverages in New York did have reduced amounts of the chemical though, indicating a positive step for the soda industry.

When Consumer Reports asked PepsiCo to comment on their findings, the company defended their formula, saying that, because the average person consumes less than one-third of a can of diet soda per day, their product meets California’s standard. Based on this fundamentally flawed reasoning, their product can have nearly 90 mcg of 4-MeI per serving. The only way that this justification would make sense is if the majority of Pepsi One drinkers literally open the can, drink a third of it and then save the rest for the next two days, which obviously is not the case.

Consumer Reports said that their policy and action arm, Consumers Union, will alert the California Attorney General’s office and will petition the FDA to set a federal standard on 4-MeI and require companies to be more specific about the type of caramel coloring they use. The FDA does not recognize that 4-MeI used in foods at current levels poses a risk to human health; they are however reviewing safety data and testing foods and sodas for the chemical.

Japanese fishermen complete annual dolphin massacre in Taiji cove

Japanese fishermen completed their annual dolphin slaughter in the Taiji cove on Tuesday.

“According to The History of Taiji, edited and published by Taiji town in 1979, the first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives have been conducted on a large scale,” Sakae Hemmi of the Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan wrote.

Despite this, Japanese fishermen and their government justify dolphin drive hunts by saying they are a centuries-old cultural tradition. During these “hunts,” dolphins are rounded up and driven into the cove, where they are surrounded by nets and trapped. The way the dolphins are slaughtered has been noted for its brutality.

“A metal rod was stabbed into their spinal cord, where they were left to bleed out, suffocate and die. After a traumatic four days held captive in the killing cove, they experienced violent captive selection, being separated from their family, and then eventually were killed today,” Sea Shepherd Conservation Society activist Melissa Sehgal told Reuters.

“The hunting of whales and dolphins has been carried out since long ago and is performed on scientific grounds,” Kazutaka Sangen, the mayor of Taiji, told reporters. He did not explain how slaughtering thousands of dolphins over a period of decades contributes to science.

In reality, these killings have much more to do with money than “cultural tradition” or “scientific grounds.” According to the UK’s Independent, dolphin meat can sell for anywhere from $9.00 to $17.00 per pound (around 6-10 British pounds sterling). And National Geographic reports live Taiji dolphins being sold abroad for as much as $150,000 each, and the price range paid by Japan’s many aquariums is closer to between $40,000 and $80,000.

The annual hunt has been a source of controversy and criticism against Japan, especially since the release of the 2009 documentary The Cove, which thrust the event into the world’s spotlight. Dolphins are extremely intelligent creatures, and in 2013 the government of India recognized their status as “non-human persons” who “should have their own specific rights.”