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Potentially toxic chemicals in your makeup; what to look for

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Women across our country use makeup almost every day; but have you ever stopped to consider if the products in your makeup bag may be toxic to your health?

"There's lead acetate in hair dyes, lead in lipstick, formaldehyde and 1, 4, dioxane in baby shampoos and other shampoos," listed off Lisa Archer with Friends of the Earth.

All of these ingredients are potentially toxic.  So why are they allowed in these products?  The problem in part lies with the law. Cosmetic firms are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products.

But with the exception of color additives, federal food and drug regulations do not require ingredients in beauty aids to be approved before going on the market.

Work by grass roots organizations to change that is starting to pay off.

Faced with mounting pressure, Johnson & Johnson announced its plan to phase out the ingredients.  In a statement to CNN, the company said nothing is more important to them than the peace of mind of people using their products, but the company also said the ingredients, at their present levels, are safe.

Archer is the former director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and she disagrees.  "It's really important for consumers to know that small doses can add up to harm and the timing of the dose of the toxic chemicals really matters as well," said Archer.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has a number of resources on its website to inform consumers on what it calls "chemicals of concern."  You can visit the website here: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

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