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Friends of the Earth extends 'ToxFox' app

By Michelle Yeomans+

28-Aug-2014
Last updated on 29-Aug-2014 at 10:11 GMT

Friends of the Earth extends 'ToxFox' app

The German NGO has extended its mobile app, ToxFox to android devices after a successful launch which allows users to check cosmetics for EDCs.

The app claims to allow a new generation of formulation savvy consumers to gain access to what's really in formulations which analysts say will ultimately pave the way for them telling formulators what ingredients they do and do not want to see in their products.

According to BUND, 330,000 people already use ToxFox, which was launched last year following a study that revealed a third of the cosmetic products sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to contain suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The NGO's site says the union study incorporated more than 60,000 products and found personal care to contain 15 different chemicals that act like hormones.

These substances were allegedly found as preservatives and UV-filters in the likes of sunscreens, skin care and colour cosmetics. 

According to Bund, the proportion of 'contaminated' products found had belonged to market leaders L'Oreal and Beiersdorf (Nivea, among others).

Those without 'contaminated' products included alva Natural Cosmetics, Anne Marie Borlind, Dr. Hauschka, Laverana natural cosmetics, natural cosmetics Logocos, Martina Gebhardt Natural Cosmetics and Natural Cosmetics Weleda.

Snap appy

'Think Dirty' is another app that allows consumers to scan the bar code of any participating manufacturer and determine exactly what ingredients are contained in the formulation and what it means.

Founded by Lily Tse, the app includes more than 11,000 products and over 1,000 different brands in its database, with the aim of growing significantly as it becomes more popular with consumers.

According to the development team, the app assesses products based on what is deemed to be the safety of the ingredients, which is based on references to government lists of prohibited chemicals, studies in peer-reviewed journals and regulatory guidance.

Tse says the inspiration for the launch came about when her own mother developed breast cancer about ten years, something that drove her to do significant research into potentially carcinogenic cosmetic and personal ingredients.

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