WHAT IS A COSMETIC?
“A COSMETIC IS A PRODUCT, EXCEPT SOAP, INTENDED TO BE APPLIED TO THE HUMAN BODY FOR CLEANSING, BEAUTIFYING, PROMOTING ATTRACTIVENESS OR ALTERING THE APPEARANCE.”
Sec. 201(i) FD&C Act
Hi! My name is Sarah Hart. I am a senior at Colby College majoring in Biology and Environmental Science. Colby College, Learning Disability Association of Maine, Maine Women’s Lobby, Environmental Health Strategy Center, and Planned Parenthood are sponsoring this website to spread awareness of toxic chemicals in consumer products. I became interested in this subject when I took an Environment and Human Health class and I learned that many cosmetic products contain ingredients that are harmful to your health. I was an intern for the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine and compiled scientific literature on the health effects PFC’s. I also became nervous when several of my cosmetic ingredients sounded like the chemicals we used in organic chemistry lab, where we had to wear safety goggles and gloves. As a research assistant for the Colby’s Environmental Studies Program, I read scientific studies that show ingredients in my cosmetics disrupt my hormones, cause cancer, and can damage my nervous and reproductive systems. This site is a compilation of the research that I found and gives resources for you to learn more. Please remember that not all ingredients and not all cosmetics are bad for you health. This site is to help you choose products that are safer for your health.
Dr. Gail Carlson teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at Colby College, where she specializes in the science and regulation of environmental determinants of human health, global public health issues, and environmental justice. She works with students on civic engagement strategies to promote public awareness about hazardous substances in the environment and consumer products and reform of our toxic substances laws to better protect public health. She is a board member of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, a leading advocacy group in Maine.
This website is funded by Colby College Environmental Studies Program.