20. Cosmetics May Be Hazardous To Your Health

In 1975, American consumers spent $6,728,270,000 on cosmetics and toiletries. And while millions of these consumers were using these cosmetics and toiletries daily, few of them were aware of how hazardous they may be to their health. Author/researcher Chris Welles states "The awful truth is that despite their enticing and beguiling appearance, they may be secretly and quietly destroying us." Sixty percent of the substance enters a person's system and may very possibly be a cause of diseases as serious as cancer. The lack of information on the effects of the chemicals in some of America's most widely used cosmetics is appalling. Heinz Eiermann, of the Food and Drug Administration, says "The trouble is, not only can't I stop it but I often don't even know the product exists. We don't have authority to require anything." Considering the national advertising budget of the cosmetics and toiletries industry, it is not surprising the mass media have done so little to warn the consumer of the potential dangers of the products. Or, as the author of the article puts it, "Why do we have to kill or maim our way to consumer legislation reform?" The widespread use of these products, combined with their potential dangers to the user and the inadequate protection from the FDA, qualifies this story for nomination as a "best censored" story of 1976.

SOURCE: New Times Magazine, June 25, 1976, p 42, "Warning: Cosmetics May Be Hazardous To Your Health," by Chris Welles.