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Safe cosmetics campaign targets Canadian girls

Many of the popular resources available on cosmetic products and toxic ingredients come from the United States. They include some…

By Jenna Owsianik , in Facing Facts: A closer look at eco-beauty products , on April 12, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

Many of the popular resources available on cosmetic products and toxic ingredients come from the United States. They include some useful databases and backgrounders, but their conclusions seem at times periphery to us Canadians. Up here, we regulate our cosmetics differently!

Image from FemmeToxic

You may be happy to then know that , a Montreal-based campaign for safe cosmetics, launched last summer. Its goal: to inform Canadian girls and young women about the chemicals found in cosmetic ingredients.

FemmeToxic is hosted by , a cancer prevention organization. The also partners the project, and operates to promote girls “to speak out, build skills, and create action on issues that are important and real to them.”

“Youth specifically are more susceptible to toxins in the environment, at that stage in development, so they decided to launch this project,” Angela Day said, the safe cosmetics campaign assistant.

Day holds workshops for schools and community groups in order to spread awareness. She puts on an interactive workshop where she discuses the effects that toxins found in cosmetics have on youth and what they can do about it.

Another purely hands-on workshop she gives is meant to “move away from the toxic messages and products of the beauty industry.” Last Valentine’s Day she held the first of its kind, making do-it yourself facials and bath salts with attendees.

When asked why Canada hasn’t developed a similarly strong movement for safe cosmetics, in comparison to the United States, Day’s answer was two-fold.

The situation in the United States is more urgent because the country has fewer regulations on cosmetics than Canada, she explained.

Day also said that Breast Cancer Action Montreal is one of “few organizations that are working on cancer prevention in Canada and not for the cure. And so coming from that perspective there are just very few people working on it, and to address the issue it needs to come from that framework.”

The FemmeToxic project has recently started a postcard campaign directed at the . It also plans on going national in the next year by loading media art displays and other resources onto its website.

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