Pretty Nasty: Phthalates in European Cosmetic Products

Women’s Environmental Network, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, and Health Care Without Harm contracted a certified Swedish analytical laboratory to test 34 name-brand cosmetic products for phthalates, a large family of synthetic chemicals linked to decreased fertility and reproductive defects. The laboratory found phthalates in nearly 80% of the products. More than half of the tested cosmetics contained more than one type of phthalate. Major brands included products by Boots, Christian Dior, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Lever Fabergé, and Wella. None of the products listed phthalates as an ingredient on the label.