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List of potentially harmful cosmetic products

Here are some products identified as possibly troublesome for health reasons in a study called "Skin Deep" by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit group that watchdogs the cosmetics industry:

_LIPSTICK: 28 percent of 711 products examined contained ingredients that researchers say could be linked to cancer, such as butylated hydroxytoluene, Nylon 6, ferric oxide, polyethylene, titanium dioxide.

_NAIL POLISH: 71 percent of 123 products examined contained ingredients known to be, suspected of being or possibly linked to birth defects, including toluene, dibutyl phthalate and ethoxyethanol acetate.

_SHAVING PRODUCTS: 51 percent of 167 products examined contained penetration enhancers—such as glyceryl lanolate, myristoyl sarcosine, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate and propylene glycol—which could increase exposure to possible carcinogens or other ingredients of concern. A penetration enhancer helps ingredients soak into skin.

_SHAMPOO: All 413 products examined contained ingredients whose potential adverse health effects have not been fully studied by the industry, according to the study. They include coal tar, ethanol, silica and zinc chloride.


The "Skin Deep" report and a searchable product guide are available online on the Environmental Working Group's Web site, at

_ By David Goldstein


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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