At Boulder International Film Festival, CoPIRG provides tips to avoid toxic cosmetics

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Director Danny Katz speaks at screening of Toxic Beauty


At the 2020 Boulder International Film Festival, Director Danny Katz presented the audience of the documentary Toxic Beauty with actions they can take to avoid toxic cosmetics. As part of CoPIRG’s Make it Toxic Free campaign, three hundred attendees received a new tips sheet that was released at the event. 

“Products we use on our bodies every day shouldn’t contain toxic ingredients that put our health at risk,” said CoPIRG Director Danny Katz.  

The CoPIRG tips sheet included the following recommendations:

  1. Avoid “fragrance” – Whenever you see that on a label what that really means is there’s a cocktail of chemicals that produce the scent you experience, but the company can just call the entire mixture a “fragrance” without disclosing what goes into it. Look for products that say “fragrance-free” rather than “unscented,” and actually read the label to confirm. If you want something scented, opt for things that derive their scent from essential oils instead.
  2. Shop with your feet – We’re calling for Unilever, P&G and L’Oréal—the three largest personal care product manufacturers in the world—to commit to go toxic-free. When these three companies take action, it will not only protect millions of consumers from exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, it could trigger a change in the whole personal care market. Contact them and tell them to go toxic-free. Until they do, look for stores or products that have made toxic-free commitments. 
  3. Stay educated – Check the products you own to see if you have mistakenly purchased toxic beauty care products. One good source is the Environmental Working Group.  They have a database of products you can search with their “Skin Deep” program
  4. Contact your legislators – Support the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 (H.R. 4296) in Congress. This bill bans over a dozen of the worst chemicals from cosmetics, funds research into safer alternatives, requires full fragrance ingredient disclosure, and bans most animal testing – On a state level, Colorado should consider bills like California’s Toxic Free Cosmetics Act (A.B. 2762), which would ban twelve hazardous ingredients from beauty care products including mercury and formaldehyde. 
  5. Support CoPIRG and other advocacy groups – Whether it’s the statehouse, Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or corporate boardrooms, advocacy groups like CoPIRG need the resources to go where the decisions are being made, build up public support, and win tangible results. Become a member at  


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