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Children’s Perfume Makers Failing To Report Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals In Products

Seattle, WA – According to new testing, perfumes used by tweens contain secret hormone-disrupting ingredients that should have been reported under state law. The research, conducted by the Washington Toxics Coalition, found that some makers of children’s products are flouting state law by failing to report the presence of phthalates in their products to the Department of Ecology and the public. The reporting is required under the Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008, which required major companies making children’s products to start reporting the presence of toxic chemicals in their products in August 2012.

“It’s very disappointing that companies whose products are adored by children are not only using toxic chemicals in their products, but failing to comply with the law and report them,” said Erika Schreder, author of the report and science director for the Washington Toxics Coalition. “These companies need to come clean with consumers and report to Ecology.”

In the new report Something Smells, the Washington Toxics Coalition found nine of 20 children’s fragrance products tested contained hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates.  Of the nine products, seven products contained over 5 ppm of the phthalate commonly called DEP and were made by companies with annual gross sales over 1 billion dollars, triggering reporting requirements under a new Washington state law.  Those companies are Disney, Claire’s, Elizabeth Arden, Abercrombie and Fitch, and American Eagle Outfitters.

Products that should have been reported are:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Crescent Bay Body Mist
American Eagle Outfitters, AE LIVE Perfume
Claire’s, Sweet Sugar Perfume
Claire’s Pomegranate Body Spray
Disney, Pixie Dust, Perfume
Disney, A Princess Wish Perfume
Elizabeth Arden, Inc., Born Wild Perfume

Scientists are concerned about phthalates in personal care products because the products are applied directly to the skin and may be a significant source of exposure. Phthalates are classified as hormone-disruptors and have been shown to affect reproductive development in children.  They are also linked to asthma and obesity.

Washington Toxics Coalition contacted each of the five companies that should have reported.  As of October 26, 2012, three companies had responded. Claire’s wrote in an October 17, 2012 letter that Claire’s Pomegranate Body Spray “is not a product that is intended to be used by children under age 12. As such, it is not a product that falls under the jurisdiction of the Washington Children’s Safe Products Act or its reporting regulations.”

Elizabeth Arden indicated in a phone call that it did not believe its products fell under the law’s jurisdiction and did not plan to report. Abercrombie and Fitch indicated that it was previously unaware of the law and would be contacting the Department of Ecology to determine whether it would report.

“These products are sold in stores commonly frequented by children. The products are not labeled with age restrictions.  Companies whose products are used by children need to recognize that and provide the required information about the presence of toxic chemicals in those products. The Department of Ecology must take enforcement action to ensure that all companies comply with this important law,” said Schreder.

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Stephanie Stohler, [email protected]

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