Posts Tagged ‘Cosmetics toxicity’

Day 6 of Daily Footprint Project. The day to get my roots done.


This is an image of ‘Roots’, a piece I did while I was an artist a few years ago (silver embroidered photo on fabric).

I am rather frugal in the personal care department. Over the years, I have pared down to the bare essentials. Lubriderm cream for body and face, Clinique foundation, Clinique blush, Chapstick for my lips, Neutrogena cleanser, Johnson baby wash, Dove shampoo and conditioner, O.P.I nail strengthener, Tom’s toothpaste, Tom’s deodorant. The one vanity I won’t give up is getting my hair dyed once a month. My hair turned grey in my twenties, and I just can’t fancy myself in any other color than my original brown. For all my talks about avoiding chemicals, I have been willing to venture into unknown toxic land, for the sake of restoring my mane to its original brown splendor, for years.

This time is different. In the name of the Daily Footprint experiment, I decided to investigate further. After a bit of googling, I came across the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Boy, was I in for a surprise! The hair dye turned out to be safe. These other products I have been using, however, that’s another story. I am still mad from what I found out (all products rated on 0-10 hazard scale, with scores of 7 and above considered as high risk): Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15 (7), Johnson Baby wash (4), Tom’s toothpaste (2), Neutrogena Cleanser (6), O.P.I nail strengthener (7), Tom’s Deodorant (2), Dove Shampoo and conditioner (5), Cherry Chaptstick (8), Clinique Super Balanced Makeup (NA), Clinique Blush (NA)

Lubriderm promotes itself as ‘developed by dermatologists for healthier skin’. Based on that claim, and a recommendation from a girlfriend who had been told by her doctor that Lubriderm was the best, I have been using Lubriderm as my all purpose body and face cream, for years. Now, I am finding out that seemingly harmless stuff is way up there in terms of environmental hazard for my health. Detailed report from the Skin Deep database indicates that ingredients in this product are linked to: cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), enhanced skin absorption, contamination concerns, biochemical or cellular level changes.

I feel deceived.

And I came up with something else, in the course of my investigation. Back to the hair dye, I looked up the MSDS sheet. It says:

‘Environmental Precautions: 1) do not flush into surface water or sanitary sewer system, 2) avoid subsoil penetration ‘.

As far as I can tell, all that rinse off water with the hair dye that was used to color my hair yesterday: down the drain.

I’d like to end by asking you to look up the Action Center page on the Environmental Working Group website. There are a lot you can do by just writing to you congressman and senator. Enviroblog is also a great resource.

Daily Footprint Project
Daily Log
Day #6


flush toilet 1
wash face 2
brush teeth 2
wash hands 2
two showers at the gym
rinse dishes 


electric toothbrush 2
microwave tea 2’
microwave oatmeal 4’
laptop on all day
hair dryer at hair salon
cook cream of wheat on stove


oatmeal with organic milk
organic orange
organic rasberries
takeout sushi
small odwalla juice
three pastries from Whole Foods
organic oranges
cheese omelet with organic eggs


toilet paper
veggies/fruit peels
three newspaper wrappers
plastics (we take to recycling center now)


drive to hair salon 4 miles
drive to gym 6 miles
drive to dinner out 5 miles

Non food shopping

hair dye

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