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Transparency in Personal Care Labels

Some Chemicals Not Listed on Product Labels Should personal care product manufacturers mention the presence of parabens and phthalates on product labels? Washington Post contributor Jill Adams thinks so, if only for transparency's sake.

According to Adams, chemicals such as phthalates and parabens can interfere with reproductive hormones in the body, which could lead to chronic diseases and cancers. These chemicals are often used in personal care products such as hairspray and makeup to improve the consistency of the solution. Because the Food and Drug Administration has found no evidence that exposure to these chemicals is hazardous to one's health, personal care brands are legally obligated to mention these chemicals on product labels.

Promoting Transparency on Product Labels Although many people have been trained to read product labels, personal care products do not help people determine whether they contain phthalates or parabens. Speaking with the Washington Post, environmental professor John Meeker explained many product makers simply allude to these chemicals by grouping them as "fragrances."

At the end of the day, product makers need to consider how much they value transparency. While they do not have to disclose this information, they may want to consider doing so just to be transparent to customers.