Statement by Alex Kowcz, Chief Scientist Personal Care Products Council On Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ New Report

For Immediate Release 


Jewel Jones, (202)454-0302,
Jamie Kurke, (202)454-0316,

Washington, D.C. – “Contrary to claims in this report, all cosmetic and personal care products manufacturers are required by law to demonstrate the safety of their products and the ingredients in those products before they are available for purchase and used in the homes of millions of families.  Our member companies take this responsibility for safety very seriously and safety assessments are grounded in the best science available.

“The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) report is one more example of misleading information presented as scientific data and taken out of context. It misrepresents the properties of many of the ingredients cited in the report when they have been safely used for decades. The report further neglects to mention reviews that have been conducted by authoritative bodies in the U.S. and around the world that have determined safe levels of use for these ingredients.  Examples of well-studied ingredients that the report identifies as ‘hazardous’ include tocopherol (vitamin E) and oleic acid (a fatty acid occurring naturally in animal and vegetable fats and oils).

“Consumers have a right to know the facts about the products and ingredients they use but they also have a right to understand.  We share the full list of ingredients used in personal care products and we include safety information on our consumer website  Our strong belief in right to know and right to understand is also why many of our member companies share fragrance ingredient information on their websites – we believe people need to make informed choices about their products. It is wholly inaccurate to conflate ingredient labeling with toxicity.

“BCPP’s report reinforces its lack of understanding of the rigorous scientific processes used by our member companies to assure the safety of personal care products. Many ingredients can be linked to adverse conditions if present in very high amounts.  This does not mean the presence of that same substance at very low levels in a product poses a health risk; no information on levels of ingredients or impurities in the tested products is provided in the BCPP report.  Other critical factors that would provide consumers with the proper perspective are glaringly absent from this report.

“It’s unfortunate that the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners use misinformation and false allegations to needlessly scare consumers.  Consumers should feel confident that the ingredients used in the products they enjoy have been thoroughly assessed by both industry safety experts and independent scientists around the world.  Families can continue to enjoy these products as our industry remains committed to safety, quality, and innovation.”


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Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the leading national trade association representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies. Founded in 1894, PCPC’s approximately 600 member companies manufacture, distribute and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on and trust every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance – personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.