Lobbying group says many cosmetic products contain cancer-causing chemical

March 5, 2007

Washington - A new study by the lobby group Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that a number of cosmetic products with a petroleum base may contain a cancer-causing impurity called 1.4-dioxane, according to the online news source cosmeticsdesign.com.

Washington - A new study by the lobby group Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that a number of cosmetic products with a petroleum base may contain a cancer-causing impurity called 1.4-dioxane, according to the online news source cosmeticsdesign.com.

EWG says while the impurity can be removed easily during processing, many companies don’t remove it - which, in turn, puts consumers at potential risk.

According to the report, an EWG computer assessment of 15,000 cosmetics found that nearly a quarter may be contaminated with 1.4-dioxane. EWG says this assessment is backed up by new product tests that found the cancer-causing chemical in 18 of more than two dozen products, 15 of which were marketed for babies and children.

EWG said its assessment found that 57 percent of all baby soaps and 34 per cent of all body lotions contained 1.4-dioxane - and that a whopping 97 per cent of hair-relaxer products were found to contain the chemical.

According to EWG statistics, about 80 percent of cosmetic and personal care products contain one or more of 24 known impurities that have been linked to cancer.