Monday, February 21, 2005

something in the air tonight...or is it my conditioner?

The Environmental Working Group has a very interesting site where you can generate a shopping (or perhaps anti-shopping) list of self-care products organized by degrees of potential toxicity. There's more to it, of course; discussion of this ingredient (coal tar) or that (methylparaben); health concerns such as harmful impurities, carcinogens, unstudied ingredients, allergens, pregnancy concerns.

It's really scary, actually. There are some products that are about as safe as you might think from their advertising (Burt's Bees) and some that apparently aren't (the JASON line of products). Putting the word "organic" or "natural" on the label doesn't mean jack.

And even if you think this doesn't apply to you because you don't wear makeup, think again. Unless you also don't shave, use sunscreen, acne medication, toothpaste, or anti-dandruff shampoo (or indeed any shampoo).

In which case, you've got a whole 'nother set of problems, dontcha?

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be sitting on the bathroom floor sounding out the big words on my ingredients lists and muttering to myself about conspiracies. Which is about right for this neighborhood, believe me.