BCAM's Action Day for Safe Cosmetics

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Labeling laws 6 months later: What’s changed? We still have toxic chemicals in our cosmetics!

Breast Cancer Action Montreal supporters will rally in the downtown core on May 16 to demand the elimination of toxic chemicals in cosmetics. The date is significant because it is exactly 6 months after Canada’s cosmetics labeling regulations took effect - laws that don’t truly protect consumers. BCAM’s Safe Cosmetics Campaign Canada will raise awareness about toxic chemical ingredients in cosmetics and their health risks on Wednesday May 16th at 12 noon on the south-east corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine.

BCAM’s Safe Cosmetics Campaign Canada will distribute wallet-sized information cards that explain why labeling is not enough. Even though ingredients are now listed, it’s hard to access information on the safety of the labeled ingredients. As a matter of fact, the Canadian government still allows some carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproduction-toxic and hormonally disruptive ingredients, such as formaldehyde and phthalates, in cosmetics. The cards have information resources, including Health Canada’s cosmetics division.

This event is endorsed by Réseau québécois d’action pour la santé des femmes (RQASF), the Allergy and Environmental Health Association of Quebec (AEHA), and Option consommateurs.

On November 16th, 2006, companies were required to list ingredients on cosmetic packages. Companies do not have to reveal which ingredients are known or suspected carcinogens. Many of the known toxic chemicals still permissible in Canada have been banned by the European Union.

Some companies that have eliminated toxic chemicals from their products sold in Europe can still include these toxins in their Canadian products. BCAM has 3 basic demands:

1. Global reformulation of products to meet the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of CHemicals) standards;
2. Warning labels on cosmetics that contain ingredients not tested for their long-term safety, and;
3. Clear warning labels on cosmetics that contain carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins.

Breast Cancer Action Montreal works year-round, calling for research into the causes of breast cancer. Less than 5 per cent of funds raised in the name of breast cancer are allocated to prevention research. BCAM underscores the urgent need to investigate the environmental connection to breast cancer and truly put an end to this terrible disease.


For more information, please contact:
Carol Secter, President, Breast Cancer Action Montreal
514-483-1846 or 514-489-9594
cjsecter@vif.com or www.bcam.qc.ca

Madeleine Bird, Campaign Committee Chair
514-398-3911 x 4
madeleine.bird@mcgill.ca or www.bcam.qc.ca