Study points to cancer-risk from petroleum-based cosmetics

A new study carried out by lobby group the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that a significant number of cosmetic and toiletry products with a petroleum-base may contain a cancer-causing impurity called 1,4-dioxane.

The group says that despite the fact that this impurity is easily removed during processing, it appears that many companies are neglecting to do so, something that is putting [tag]consumers[/tag] at risk.

A computer assessment of 15,000 cosmetics found that 22 per cent of all [tag]cosmetic[/tag] and [tag]personal care products[/tag] may be contaminated with [tag]14-dioxane[/tag], an estimate that the EWG says is based on ‘its common presence in workhorse detergenet-like ingredients that the cosmetics industry uses in a wide array of products’.

The group says that this assessment is backed up by new product tests which found that that the [tag]cancer-causing chemical[/tag] was found in 18 of more than two dozen products, 15 of which were marketed towards both babies and children.

Breaking the findings down, the group reported that 57 per cent of all baby soaps contained the chemical and 34 per cent of all body lotions. However, the biggest offender was hair relaxers, with 97 per cent of all products found to contain the chemical.

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