Congress Wants to Put Artisanal Soap Makers Out of Business for Your Safety
By Daisy Luther
What! You mean to tell me you don’t use Dial or Zest to get clean?
You use HANDMADE SOAP?????
But how will you get your daily dose of cancer-causing parabens? Your hormone-disrupting substances?
The government is VERY concerned about this. VERY.
So much so that they wish to regulate and charge artisanal soapmakers right out of business, much like those pesky housewives who were audaciously sewing cloth sanitary napkins without the oversight of the FDA. Those darned nuns and their natural soaps can expect to pay whopping fees if they want to continue producing these non-carcinogenic monstrosities.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)
love getting kickbacks from corporations that make cancer-causing products love you and want you to rub toxins on your body to be safe. Therefore, for your protection, they have created the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014).
This act will create requirements for fees, licenses, and inspections that will make it impossible for small businesses to continue running. Cottage industries will, quite simply, be regulated right out of business. While the economy crashes, these senators and their idiotic bills will take away any possibility of self-employment.
Handmade soap must be regulated, but this stuff is A-OK
Here’s why the chemicals in commercial products (you know, the ones sold by big corporations who give sweet deals to government officials and make them rich) are so dangerous.
Your skin is permeable, and it’s only 1/10th of an inch thick! So anything that you put on your skin has easy access to your bloodstream. Many of these chemicals cause toxic vapors that pose a serious risk when inhaled. Add this to the steam of the shower, and those vapors have even easier access to your lungs.
Here are some of the worst offenders that Feinstein and Collins don’t seem at all concerned about protecting us from:
1. Phthalates Scientific studies link phthalate exposure to reproductive abnormalities in baby boys, reduced testosterone and sperm quality in men and early puberty in girls. Animal experiments underscore their toxicity to the reproductive system. Where might you encounter these pernicious chemicals? In some cosmetics fragrance mixtures. Since the law doesn’t require full disclosure, you have no way to know when phthalates lurk in that bottle of lotion. To be on the safe side, buy unscented personal care products.
2. Formaldehyde releasers Some cosmetics chemicals are designed to react with water in the bottle to generate a little formaldehyde, a preservative, to keep the product from growing mold and bacteria. But formaldehyde is a potent allergen which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization consider carcinogenic. Formaldehyde releasers include DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15. Where do you find them? Shampoos, conditioners, bubble bath and other personal care products—even those intended for children. A 2010 study found that nearly one fifth of cosmetic products contained a formaldehyde releaser. Johnson & Johnson, a personal care products giant, is phasing out formaldehyde releasers under pressure from health advocates. We hope other cosmetics makers will follow Johnson & Johnson’s lead.
3. Parabens Parabens are used as preservatives in some cosmetic products, but so-called “long-chained” parabens can act as estrogens and disrupt hormone signaling. A recent study by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health linked one type of paraben to impaired fertility in women. Johnson & Johnson agreed to stop using most parabens in 2012, but they can still be found in numerous cosmetics. Read the labels carefully to spot products that contain parabens, especially the long-chained varieties—propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben.
4. Triclosan and triclocarban Triclosan is a bacteria-killing chemical used in Colgate Total toothpastes (to prevent gingivitis), liquid hand soaps, body washes, clothing, cutting boards and other household goods. It has been shown to interfere with thyroid signaling and male and female sex hormone signaling. Triclocarban is the active ingredient in some antibacterial bar soaps. Researchers have linked it to reproductive abnormalities in laboratory animals. Last month, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that these chemicals should not be considered safe or effective in antibacterial soaps and body washes and gave manufacturers time to substantiate their claims or phase them out of the market. Already, Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble have pledged to rid their personal care products of triclosan. We hope to see other companies do the same.
5. Retinyl palmitate and retinoic acid Retinoic acid is used in anti-aging skin creams. Retinyl palmitate, a related chemical, is added to roughly one-quarter of the sunscreens in EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens database. U.S. government scientists have found that these chemicals speed the development of cancerous lesions on sun-exposed skin. The results suggest that people who go out in the sun while wearing retinyl palmitate creams and sunscreens may be at an increased risk for skin cancer. Instead of restricting these chemicals immediately, the FDA has ordered additional testing. EWG recommends that you avoid products containing retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate.
6. Hair straighteners with formaldehyde or formaldehyde-like chemicals Some hair straighteners can contain as much as 10 percent pure formaldehyde. The cosmetic industry’s own scientific advisory board has warned against formaldehyde-based hair straighteners. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued warnings and fines to numerous salons that use them, exposing their workers to intense, and potentially cancer-causing, formaldehyde fumes. Some nations ban formaldehyde-based hair straighteners. Yet some small companies persist in making and selling them to unwitting consumers, and the FDA has failed to take punitive action. People who want to straighten their hair or undergo a “smoothing” treatment should find out if the salon uses a product containing formaldehyde, also called methylene glycol. If it does, avoid it.
7. Lead acetate in men’s hair dye Lead acetate in some men’s hair dyes, such as “Grecian Formula” products, can increase the body’s lead level. Because lead is a potent neurotoxin, lead acetate has been banned in Canada and the European Union. The FDA should restrict lead acetate in hair dyes. In the meantime, consumers can use EWG’s Skin Deep database to find lead-free hair dyes.
Here’s what you can do to protect cottage industry from over-regulation.
The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance has created a form to help business owners contact representatives and senators and let them know how their bill will affect the ability to do business.
Even if you don’t make your own soap or buy handmade soap, I strongly urge you to take action and let your members of Congress know that you can see what they’re doing. I’ve modified the HCA’s letter below so those of us who don’t own businesses can use it. Simply copy and paste it into the body of an email and reach out to your senators and representatives. (You can find their contact information HERE) This will take less than 5 minutes of your time and could help save hundreds of thousands of small businesses while simultaneously protecting healthier options than toxin-containing corporate skin care products.
RE: Cosmetic Legislation – Small Business Support
Dear [[Recipient’s Title and Name]]:
I am your constituent and a user of handmade soaps and cosmetic products.I am writing to urge you to oppose Senate Bill S.1014, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It will crush small businesses with user fees and reporting requirements.
I am a supporter of the Handmade Cosmetic Alliance (HCA), an organization that advocates on behalf of nearly 300,000 primarily woman-owned small handmade cosmetic. The HCA had several meetings over many months with the sponsor of S. 1014 and presented information to support small business exemptions similar to those the 2011 Food Modernization Safety Act (FSMA). Sadly, a decision was made to use prescription drugs and medical device standards for small handmade cosmetic businesses.
This does not make sense. These products are soaps, lotions and scrubs made largely with food-grade ingredients found in any grocery store.
They are for topical use. Customers do not ingest them, nor are they used to treat medical conditions.
Handmade cosmetics are some of the safest products on the market. These products comply with FDA labeling requirements and the ingredients are commonly known (i.e, olive oil, oatmeal, sugar, coconut oil, etc).
Most artisanal business owners cannot afford the user fees proposed in S. 1014. Nor do their businesses have the capacity to do the reporting requirements for each product batch (10-50 units) as it could be several hundred FDA filings per month.
Please oppose the Personal Care Products Safety Act and stand with small businesses that make handmade products using only ingredients the FDA deems safe. Please support reasonable and necessary small business exemptions so that these companies can continue to make quality products, create jobs, support families, and contribute to our economy.
Please share this important article. Protect cottage industries and protect safer options for personal care products.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Organic Canner and The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, where this article first appeared, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org