April 27, 2012

Cosmetics Contain Harmful Ingredients

From the CECON case files:

Situation: A consumer suffered severe eye damage after use of an under eye wrinkle cream.

Expert Need: Determine whether the cream contained an ingredient that caused the damage.

Background: After a cursory review of the ingredients listing of the eye cream, the expert determined that one of the ingredients was an exfoliant. Some of the cream had accidentally transferred to the inside of her eye while she was sleeping, causing severe damage to her cornea.

Type of expert selected: Chemist

Outcome:  The Expert was instrumental in helping the client reach a favorable settlement to pay her extensive medical bills.

Of Note:  Often consumers are unaware that some ingredients in eye creams, moisturizers, and makeup are actually chemicals that can do damage to their eyes or respiratory systems, even when used carefully.  They trust the FDA testing to keep them safe and don’t recognize the items on ingredient labels, which can lead to injury. Trained chemists, like the expert in the case above, can identify certain ingredients as harmful upon cursory inspection. Go to the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database  to look up the ingredients in your favorite products.

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