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Caution Urged on Popular Personal-Care Products in Bay State

A new MASSPIRG survey cautions that some popular personal-care products on local store shelves are linked to negative health effects, including cancer. (M. Clifford)
A new MASSPIRG survey cautions that some popular personal-care products on local store shelves are linked to negative health effects, including cancer. (M. Clifford)
June 30, 2016

BOSTON - Claire Gambrill, research intern at the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), which produced the survey, lists 10 common, everyday products which her group said consumers should beware.

"There is men's deodorants, there are baby wipes, shampoos, conditioners, things like that," she said.

MASSPIRG said some of these have been linked to cancer but are still are on store shelves because the Food and Drug Administration does not require ingredients to be tested or approved for human safety for personal-care products.

Gambrill said MASSPIRG cross-referenced the ingredients listed on the packaging of many common personal-care products with cosmetic chemical databases and peer-reviewed studies to identify popular products linked to major health concerns.

"Many are recognized as carcinogenic, so they can potentially cause cancer; they're at high risk for allergies, they do tend to cause reproductive and respiratory problems," she added. "Specifically, the baby wipes can cause respiratory problems in babies and eczema."

The consumer protection report, Getting Personal with Chemicals, is available at the MASSPIRG website. The report also suggests healthy alternatives for the popular products that have been linked to health concerns.

The full list can be read online here.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA