Cosmetics manufacturers: lack of information on “parfum” stinks!

Your "secret ingredients" can be hazardous to our health and the environment

Photo credit: Maria Morri via Flickr.

A report released by the David Suzuki Foundation found that the majority of companies selling cosmetics and personal care products in Canada will not reveal the complete list of chemicals they use to fragrance their products.

A loophole in Canada's Cosmetic Regulations allows manufacturers to list any ingredients they add "to produce or to mask a particular odour" as the generic term "parfum."

As many as 3,000 chemicals are used in fragrance mixtures, including phthalates, some of which are suspected endocrine disruptors. A single product can include a mixture of dozens or even hundreds of fragrance chemicals. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. Synthetic musks are of particular concern; Environment Canada categorizes some of them as toxic.

Many cosmetic companies refuse to disclose their ingredients because of "proprietary rights." We find this unacceptable. What about the consumer's right to know what they’re putting on their body?

We the undersigned consumers call on manufacturers of cosmetics sold in Canada to voluntarily:

  1. Support revisions to Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations to strengthen the labeling provisions for fragrance ingredients
  2. Lead by example by disclosing complete lists of fragrance ingredients used in their products
  3. Ensure that products marketed as “unscented” or “fragrance-free” be truly free of fragrance chemicals

Take a stand against the cosmetics industry. Ask manufacturers to disclose their ingredients today. Join the 5032 who have already signed the petition.

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