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Petition to the Auditor General of Canada: Properly manage carcinogens in cosmetics!

By Sandra Madray

There are continued concerns about the presence of toxic substances and in particular, carcinogens, in our cosmetics and personal care products in Canada. While some of us may feel a certain level of frustration that we are still being exposed to carcinogens through our daily use of cosmetics and personal care products, others are totally unaware of the presence of carcinogens in these products.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist under the Cosmetic Regulation of the Food and Drug Act (Health Canada) is the main tool used by government to address the utilization of toxic substances, including carcinogens, in cosmetics. The Hotlist gives a listing of substances that are banned and permitted in cosmetics. It also includes any restrictions regarding the concentration of a substance in a cosmetic.

The Canadian Environmental Law Association and Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba have submitted a joint petition to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Office of the Auditor General of Canada). The purpose of the petition is to assess the effectiveness of federal government measures in the elimination or reduction of toxic substances in cosmetics and personal care products, with an emphasis on carcinogens. The petition also seeks to promote the view that such information is needed for transparency in the government’s decision making process and accountability of manufacturers and importers to ensure the safety of cosmetics and personal care products that are available to Canadians.

A response from the government is expected by March 7, 2012 (it will be posted shortly thereafter on the Prevent Cancer Now website).

Sandra Madray is with Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba and also sits on the Board of Prevent Cancer Now.

Also in the Winter 2012 Issue of An Ounce …

Published: February 3, 2012