Toxics in cosmetics: New worry for chains

February 26, 2007

A new report from the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) states that shareholder resolutions, improved information on health risks, European and U.S. regulatory changes, and growing consumer pressure could drive sweeping changes in the U.S. personal care and cosmetics industry, with significant implications for investors. According to IEHN, investors are weighing shareholder resolutions at CVS and Bed, Bath & Beyond. IEHN is concerned about common ingredients in personal care products, including phthalates, which have been linked to malformed or underdeveloped reproductive organs in males; formaldehyde, classified as a carcinogen; and parabens, endocrine-active preservatives that have been found in breast tumors; and nanoparticles, which involve the manipulation of microscopic particles and may allow them to penetrate into the bloodstream and the lymph system and damage tissue. IEHN is a collaboration of investment managers encouraging companies to adopt "safer chemical" policies for cosmetics and other products.

A new report from the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) states that shareholder resolutions, improved information on health risks, European and U.S. regulatory changes, and growing consumer pressure could drive sweeping changes in the U.S. personal care and cosmetics industry, with significant implications for investors. According to IEHN, investors are weighing shareholder resolutions at CVS and Bed, Bath & Beyond. IEHN is concerned about common ingredients in personal care products, including phthalates, which have been linked to malformed or underdeveloped reproductive organs in males; formaldehyde, classified as a carcinogen; and parabens, endocrine-active preservatives that have been found in breast tumors; and nanoparticles, which involve the manipulation of microscopic particles and may allow them to penetrate into the bloodstream and the lymph system and damage tissue. IEHN is a collaboration of investment managers encouraging companies to adopt "safer chemical" policies for cosmetics and other products.

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