Statement by Iain Davies, PhD, Senior Environmental Scientist The Personal Care Products Council, In Response to Study on Sunscreens and Coral Reefs

“Benzophenone-3 (BP-3; oxybenzone) is an important sunscreen ingredient found in many personal care products and is designed to protect people against the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), oxybenzone is one of the few available sunscreen ingredients that effectively protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays that can contribute to skin cancer and premature skin aging.

“A study published recently in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology suggests that this common sunscreen ingredient could be harmful to coral and contributing to the decline of reefs around the world. This conclusion is based upon research conducted under laboratory conditions, which do not accurately reflect the complexity of the natural marine environment.

“Degradation of the world’s coral reefs is a serious concern. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program, coral reefs are threatened by an increasing array of impacts – primarily from global climate change, unsustainable fishing and other factors. There is no scientific evidence that under naturally-occurring conditions, sunscreen ingredients, which have been safely used around the world for decades, are contributing to this issue.

“Our greatest concern is that this report may result in fewer people wearing sunscreens. In fact, a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that approximately 43% of men and 27% of women never use sunscreen on their faces or other exposed skin. This is particularly concerning when we consider:

  • Every year, there are more than 63,000 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, resulting in nearly 9,000 deaths;
  • Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with 5 million people treated each year;
  • More than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Sunburn is a clear sign of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, a major cause of skin cancer – a single bad burn in childhood doubles the risk of developing melanoma later in life.

“We all can play an important role in the fight against skin cancer. In addition to FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Surgeon General, AAD, the Skin Cancer Foundation and health care professionals worldwide all emphasize that using sunscreens is a critical part of a safe sun regimen. The dangers of unprotected sun exposure are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals and dermatologists.

“As sunscreen manufacturers, our goal is to provide Americans with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens to use as an important part of an overall sun safe regimen.”

Statement by Beth Lange, Chief Scientist The Personal Care Products Council, Response to EWG and Duke University study on Nail Polish

Washington, D.C. – “American consumers should not be concerned by new research that is speculative, misleading and does not use sound science to assess the safety of an ingredient which has a long and well documented history of safe use. Consumers who wear nail polish should have confidence from the following facts:

  • Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP) has been widely and safely used across many industries around the world, where it helps prevent electrical, automobile and furniture fires and increases flexibility and durability of products. Extremely small amounts are sometimes used in some nail polishes as a way to increase their flexibility and durability.
  • Under U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulations, TPHP, like all cosmetic product ingredients, must be safe for the intended use. The nation’s makers of nail polish take great pride in their products’ long history of safe use.
  • International scientific experts have extensively reviewed the safety of TPHP. Studies, including those that looked at reproduction and fetal development, have determined that the ingredient does not present a concern for human health.
  • EWG’s limited data does not support that nail polish is an important contributor to long-term TPHP exposures. In fact, EWG’s 2014 study states: “It is reasonable to assume that some portion of the TPhP metabolite detected in the mothers and children tested came from fire retardants, but it is impossible to fix responsibility precisely.”
  • As noted in EWG’s study, available data suggest that TPHP is rapidly transformed in the body to the marker compound measured in their study (DPHP) and then rapidly eliminated from the body. Therefore, infrequent use of nail products would not represent a significant source of TPHP in the body.
  • Data from other biomonitoring studies has shown that TPHP is found in both men and women. This also contradicts EWG’s conclusion that its use in nail polish is an important contributor to TPHP exposure.

“Clearly, there is no substance behind these alarming claims. The makers of nail polish stand behind their products and take pride in providing Americans with access to a wide variety of safe high quality and innovative products they trust and enjoy.”

Statement by Lezlee Westine, President and CEO Personal Care Products Council on Breast Cancer Action’s Unfounded Attack on Look Good Feel Better

“It is hard to fathom anything as irresponsible as Breast Cancer Action’s latest campaign that seeks to attack our industry’s longstanding philanthropic program that provides hope, compassion and self-esteem to women recovering from cancer treatment.

“As it is built on false information, we are compelled to set the record straight on behalf of the millions of women, men and their families who are fighting this deadly disease.

“Cosmetic and personal care products companies have a longstanding commitment to the safety of their products. Our industry is guided by the core value to do the right thing based on the best available science when addressing product safety. We share a common interest with the millions of families who use our products every day providing them with the safest, most innovative and effective products possible. We are among the safest industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and we take false allegations about the safety of our products very seriously.

“It is particularly alarming that Breast Cancer Action would mount a campaign aimed at scaring women who are at the most vulnerable point in their lives with junk science, attacking a program that helps women regain their sense of self when so much is being taken away. Studies have shown that support programs like Look Good Feel Better have a significant impact on a patient’s adherence and outlook to treatment.

“In the late 80’s, one of my predecessors was approached by a physician who had a cancer patient so depressed she wouldn’t leave her hospital room. He arranged to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist to give this woman a makeover. The change was profound – not just in her physical appearance, but also in her outlook and she laughed for the first time in weeks.

“Our industry could not be more proud to support Look Good Feel Better, which has served more than 1.7 million women worldwide and started with that one patient, 26 years ago. Our commitment to women with cancer doesn’t live just within Look Good Feel Better. Our companies support many programs for cancer patients as well as funding for research. Overall, the cosmetics industry donates approximately $134 million to charitable causes with a substantial contribution to cancer awareness and research.

“Cancer affects everyone, and many senior executives within our companies are cancer survivors as are many of the dedicated scientists, technical experts, sales people and countless others who work in our industry. It is completely unfounded to suggest that we would knowingly provide products that could have caused this disease or made it worse.

“As an innovative industry, we use the best science available to develop products that consumers trust and enjoy each day. We will continue to follow the science as we create new products to ensure the ongoing safety of our consumers.”

“October is a month to celebrate the advances in cancer care and the women who are fighting and have fought this devastating disease. Our industry looks forward to the day that there will no longer be a need for Look Good Feel Better. But until that time, we hope Breast Cancer Action will reconsider their attacks on a program that has helped so many women.”

The Personal Care Products Industry Applauds Conclusion Of The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

“The Australian Accord Australasia Limited, the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA), the Chilean Cámara de la Industria Cosmética de Chile A.G., the Mexican Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Productos Cosmetico y la Asociación Nacional de la Industria del Cuidado Personal y del Hogar (CANIPEC), the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association of New Zealand (CTFA), Comité Peruano de Cosmética e Higiene-(COPECOH-CCL), the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association of Singapore (CTFAS), and the U.S. Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) are pleased that the governments of our countries have concluded negotiations on the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). We believe that the TPP is an extraordinary opportunity to facilitate international trade of cosmetics and personal care products through the alignment of regulatory policies. We also believe TPP will be very beneficial for the families who trust and enjoy our products worldwide.

“The TPP Agreement goes beyond reducing tariffs. With the inclusion of an Annex on cosmetic products, it will help the personal care products industry address technical regulatory trade barriers that impede our industry’s ability to provide safe, innovative products in a timely fashion to consumers around the world.

“The cosmetic and personal care products industry is a global industry that requires open markets and transparent, consistent regulatory environments. International trade is a critical component to the success of our industry, and significantly contributes to our ability to compete globally, to expand manufacturing and employment, and to support other industries such as advertising, packaging, and transportation. The personal care products industry also promotes continual technological innovation and supports small and medium sized businesses (SME’s).”