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.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .