Phthalates and triclosan have raised red flags in recent years as ingredients to steer clear of when purchasing anything from nail polish to deodorant. Today P&G Beauty, the company that owns tons of big brands like CoverGirl, Herbal Essences and SK-II, announced that it would be eliminating both ingredients from all of its products by 2014.
Why is this good news? The scientific community is split on whether phthalates and triclosan are harmful in small concentrations, but some of the evidence is worrisome. Not only has the FDA advisory committee found that triclosan is not as effective in reducing bacteria as regular soap, but the ingredient has also been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity as well as disrupting thyroid function. On the market, it’s found in tons of products, from liquid hand soaps, toothpaste and face wash to even dishwashing detergent and deodorant.
Phthalates — used in many fragrances, cosmetics and shampoos — have been linked to allergies, asthma, and even potential risks to reproductive and thyroid systems. “While the only phthalate we used in our product formulations is safe (DEP), we know that there is the potential for people to confuse DEP with other phthalates that are banned from certain product types. We want people to also feel safe about using our products and not have any misperceptions about the product ingredients we use,” said Dr. Scott Heid, Ph.D., P&G Communications in a statement.
As for us, we’re glad we can soon wash our hands and mist on some hairspray with one fewer worry.