Entitled 'Miss Treatment', the campaign aims to expose the dual practice, while questioning why safer versions are made for the European market, forcing US consumers to put up with exposure to potentially dangerous toxins.
The lobby group is specifically targeting OPI Nail Products, a leading producer of professional nail care products, and has launched an ad campaign that parodies the company's own quirky publicity for the product, drawing attention to the fact that the product contains chemicals that are claimed to have links to cancer and birth defects.
The ad campaign, which runs in this week's LA Weekly magazine and is also set to appear in other publications in the coming weeks, highlights the fact that the company has so far refused demands from the lobby group to sell the safer European versions of the nail varnish on the US market.
The lobby group said that a coalition of health and environmental groups that makes up its members paid for the ad campaign.
The lobby group says that it met with OPI executives in March, urging the company to replace the toxic ingredients found in its US nail varnish formulation, but the executives refused to bow to the demands.
"Women shouldn't have to choose between beauty and health," said Felicia Eaves, national campaigns organizer of Women's Voices for the Earth, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
"Because OPI refuses to offer their US customers safe products, consumers and salon owners must seek out safer alternatives on their own. We are especially concerned about how these chemicals are affecting the health of salon workers, who tend to be primarily women of color."