Photo: About What's Inside? That Counts.

The David Suzuki Foundation is conducting a first-of-a-kind survey of toxic ingredients in the personal care products used by Canadians. From shampoos, to soaps, to lotions, to makeup, it's not uncommon for a single person to use ten or more personal care products each day. But some of the ingredients in beauty products aren't that pretty.

U.S. researchers found that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers, and surfactants. How common are key chemicals of concern in the products Canadians use — and what can be done to improve the regulation of toxic ingredients?

This spring, more than 6,000 Canadians participated in the David Suzuki Foundation's first-of-a-kind survey of toxic ingredients in the products we use on our bodies. We will present the results in September 2010, along with recommendations for strengthening laws to protect Canadians and our environment from harmful chemicals in personal care products.

Dirty Dozen

We surveyed the prevalence of twelve types of chemicals in the personal care products used by Canadians. To find out why the use of these chemicals in cosmetics is a concern, and how to recognize them on product labels, click on the name of the chemical. And don't forget to download our handy wallet-sized shopper's guide.

1. BHA and BHT
2. Coal Tar Dyes
3. DEA
4. Dibutyl phthalate
5. Formaldehyde-releasing Preservatives
6. Fragrance or parfum
7. Parabens
8. PEG compounds
9. Petrolatum
10. Siloxanes
11. Sodium laureth sulfate
12. Triclosan

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