From the book " The Safe Shoppers Bible", published
in 1995, by Dr. Samuel Epstein, MD, and Dr. David Steinman, MD, quote:
"Not a single cosmetic company warns consumers of the
presence of carcinogens in its products - despite the fact that several common
cosmetic ingredients or their contaminants are carcinogenic themselves or are
"Consumers have an inalienable right to know what
ingredients are in products they use daily, and to be certain that chemicals
posing chronic health risks will be phased out when alternatives are available.
These are rights regardless of one's perception of the risk of the ingredient.
Yet walk down the aisle of any supermarket and you will quickly see how minimal
regulation has led to grossly inadequate labeling."
"How bad is the situation? Some leading household products do
not disclose to the consumer that they contain carcinogens, neurotoxins or other
hazardous substances. Shoppers may choose these products anyway and may want to
continue using them, but deserve complete labeling information to make an
"Government and industry have failed abysmally to protect
consumer health adequately; at the very least, they have failed to inform
consumers fully of the hazardous ingredients used in household products,
cosmetics and foods. This glaring void leaves consumers at peril, uninformed and
feeling powerless and frightened by the lack of information. One of the major
reasons for our publishing the Safe Shoppers Bible is to empower you to
transform your lifestyle into one that is healthier, more natural and in greater
harmony with the health of our environment."
"The major dilemma for consumers anxious to find safe products
is that they do not know where to turn for information. The only consumer guides
available today stress homemade alternatives to household products or point up
only those often more expensively priced brands available through health food
markets and mail order. But most people today are so busy making a living,
taking care of their children, and doing other daily chores that they do not
have the time or patience to mix their own household cleaners or make their own
laundry soap and cosmetics."
"The Safe Shoppers Bible is designed as tool to help shoppers
find the safest foods and consumer products, whether major or alternative
brands. Several thousand brands of consumer products have been evaluated."
"Occasionally, recommend brands are available only at health
food stores or through mail order catalogs that specialize in environmentally
safe products. But simply shopping in a health food store is no guarantee of
buying the safest products or foods. Many health food stores sell foods grown
with pesticides and consumer products that are no safe (and often more
expensive) than those found in your favorite major supermarket. Furthermore,
many of their health products make false or misleading claims."
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an independent
regulatory agency created in 1972, is charged with ensuring that common consumer
household products are safe from unreasonable risk of injury and death. The CPSC
has jurisdiction of more than fifteen thousand consumer products. Yet
manufacturers of household products are not required to disclose any of their
hazardous ingredients used in their products. Federal regulations do require
manufacturers to provide minimal label information, but not for carcinogenicity,
neurotoxicity, or reproductive effects, which hardly constitutes adequate
disclosure. Disclosure of controversial ingredients will remain minimal as long as
responsibility for disclosure rests with manufacturers and government oversight
"Our goal is to encourage industry to provide consumers more
information and to produce safer products by reducing reliance on toxic
Founder of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Chicago, Illinois,
chapters throughout the U.S. and the world.
Shelley R. Kramer is the
Director the Los Angeles Office of the Cancer Prevention Coalition. Please
contact for more information on seminars.