Pressure group targets holiday season fragrance sales

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Phthalate

The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics is targeting holiday season fragrance sales as a means of bringing attention to its concerns over unsafe cosmetics ingredients.

The organization is citing its latest report, which contains laboratory analyses showing that some major beauty companies have been removing phthalates from a range of popular products that have been on sale in the US.

The organization claims that since it started campaigning against such potentially unsafe ingredients in 2002, the publicity has led to many main stream products being reformulated with safer alternative ingredients.

This latest installment is a follow-up to the initial report published in 2002, entitled ‘Not Too Pretty’, which revealed that of a cross section of personal care goods, 72 per cent were found to contain phthalates.

Fragrance players fair worse than other categories

Although the latest round of tests, which were carried out in the Fall of this year, found that many cosmetics categories had either reduced or completely eradicated phthalates, the fragrance category was shown not to have faired so well.

The tests showed that the five fragrances with the highest levels of diethyl phthalate (DEP) in 2002, still showed more than 20,000 parts per million of the phthalate - a level that the organization deems to be potentially dangerous.

Likewise, three of the fragrances - Charlie, Wind Song by Prince Matchibelli and White Diamonds Elizabeth Taylor – were found to contain higher levels of DEP in 2008 than they did when first tested in 2002.

Total eradication of phthalates in fragrances

The organization would ideally like to see the total eradication of phthalates in fragrances, claiming that they are not necessary.

“After decades of irresponsible use of phthalates, some companies are finally getting the message that consumers don’t want to rub and spray these toxic chemicals on our bodies,”​ said Lisa Archer, national co-ordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

“However, the problem is not solved. Some companies are still using high levels of phthalates, even though safer alternatives are available.”

In view of the fact that fragrance players make the vast majority of their sales during the holiday period, the organization is ramping up its campaign in an effort to raise consumer awareness and steer them towards the purchase of products that are deemed safer.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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