More than Skin Deep? Beauty products may damage fetal development

9:19am, July 17, 2002

A new report shows that many cosmetics contain phthalates — a class of chemicals known to cause developmental deformities in animals. The report, from three environmental-advocacy groups, recommends that women of childbearing age avoid using these products.

The study finds that many beauty products — including some deodorants, fragrances, lotions, and hair sprays�contain phthalates but that most omit the chemicals from the ingredients lists.

Phthalates are used industrially as solvents and also as softeners to make plastics more flexible, and they're commonly found in food wrap, paint, medical supplies, pesticides, and nail polish.

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