500 Companies Pledge to Detoxify Beauty Products; Major Companies Still Refuse to Sign
More than 500 cosmetics and body care product manufacturers have signed "The Compact for Safe Cosmetics," a pledge to eliminate toxic ingredients from their products. The Compact is a project of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, an international coalition of public health, labor, environmental, consumer, and women's groups. Signatories have three years to find safe alternatives for chemicals that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other negative health effects.
The European Union has banned many known toxic components from personal-care products, but similar ingredients are still legal in the US. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not review cosmetics ingredients, relying instead on industry self-regulation. The Compact will require companies to inventory their products for chemicals that pose health hazards and to comply with EU standards.
Signatories so far include The Body Shop, Burt's Bees, and Kiss My Face. Absent are the world's largest cosmetics companies, such as L'Or�al, Revlon, Est�e Lauder, Gap, Avon, OPI, and Proctor & Gamble, who have refused to sign, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics estimates that women and girls in the US use an average of 12 personal care products each day. Nail salon and cosmetology workers, who handle solvents, chemical solutions, and glues on a daily basis, may have even higher levels of toxic exposure.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .