Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hairspray may not be harmful to the male foetus, scientist claims

By Sara McCorquodale

Baby boys born to mothers exposed to hairspray may not have a higher risk of having a genital defect, the leader of an alarming study published this week has said.

Research revealed working regularly in an atmosphere where the styling product was used frequently while pregnant could lead to hypospadias, it was reported.

However, Professor Paul Elliot who commandeered the study has clarified the chemical they believed to be harmful to male foetuses has not been used in the product since 2005, due to amended European Union regulations.

The Imperial College scientist, along with his team, found evidence suggesting phthalates could lead to the condition which results in the urinary tract being positioned away from the tips of the glans of the penis.

In the study, 471 women who gave birth to babies with hypospadias between 1997 and 1998 were interviewed alongside a group of the same number who gave birth to children without the defect.

Approximately double in the former set revealed they had been exposed to hairspray during their pregnancy.

While the chemical thought to be harmful is not in the product anymore, Professor Elliot still advises pregnant women to stay away from the aerosol styler.

He said: “We need to understand more about the chemicals in this product. For that reason, I would still say it is probably wise for expectant mothers to minimise their exposure to the product, particularly in early pregnancy. It is just part of maintaining good health while pregnant.

The EU regulations mean the phthalates we have concerns about have been removed from the product but I still believe protection should be taken.”

Habia’s health and safety department advises managers of salons using hairspray to undertake risk assessments for pregnant staff on site.

Source: Professional Beauty 28 Nov

I need to get some Natural Hairspray Now!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Salon owners face jail if they continue selling Melanotan

By Sara McCorquodale

Salon owners who continue to sell an unlicensed tanning product could face two years in prison, a government watchdog has warned.

Following reports that injectable tan stimulator, Melanotan, is being retailed online and by salons and gyms across the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has ordered vendors to remove the product from their shelves and websites. However, if they do not follow these instructions they could face a fine or worse. A spokesperson from the agency said: “If those selling the product continue we have the power under the Medicines Act to take action. We could prosecute them and they could end up spending two years in jail or receive an unlimited fine.”

The product contains a hormone that induces skin cells to produce more melanin but due to lack of research into its effects, Melanotan is currently unlicensed in the UK. The MHRA spokesperson said: “It shouldn’t be used because it has not gone through proper checks. We don’t know how safe it is, whether the manufacturer has good standards for production or even if it works.

She explained: "We don’t have any clinical data to show the short and long-term side effects. All we have is anecdotal evidence that the compound may increase the libido and therefore may raise the blood pressure. It also may suppress the appetite – we just don’t know. Very often the product is sold in powder form, which users need to mix with sterilised water, but this is prescription-only so we have serious safety concerns over this aspect of Melanotan too.”

Despite the negative press the Melanotan debacle has generated towards the tanning industry, Fake Bake owner Sandra McClumpha believes it will not do businesses selling legitimate products any harm. She said: “Something that is taken internally is potentially dangerous and has nothing to do with self-tanning products that are actually applied on the skin.

“No-one should inject themselves unless authorised by a doctor with anything, never mind a product not approved in this country. The salons that have been selling this illegal product should stop immediately. They have obviously been mis-informed but they have to realise the dangerous effects of this product and the damage that they can do to the reputation of their business.”

Source: Professional Beauty

We Say: Again more worrying links with your health, if you want a healthy tan, why not go for a natural self tanning lotion.

Industry backs nano-cosmetics

13 Nov 2008
By Sophie Blakemore

The beauty industry has defended the use of nanotechnology in the manufacture of cosmetics after its safety was called into question by a consumer watchdog.

A report published by Which? said “nano” particles were widely used in cosmetic products, such as anti-wrinkle creams and sunscreens, despite uncertainties about customer safety.Small Wonder? Nanotechnology and Cosmetics called for more research and tirals to be introduced, and for manufacturers to be obligated to clearly state which products use nano materials.

Nanotechnology manipulates atoms and molecules on a very small scale, more than 50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, to enable them to take on new properties.Many brands were cited in the report for their use of nanotechnology, including Agera skincare, which uses it to deliver peptides into the skin.

But Dr Mervyn Patterson, medical director of Eden Aesthetics, which distributes Agera in the UK, said many cosmetics using nano materials were subjected to greater tests than the “crude techniques” other products went through. “Agera has spent a decade researching this technology and the nano materials used in its products are tested on human skin cells in the lab and then the final product itself is tested again to ensure safety. I really don’t know what the fuss is about – you can never say something is 100% reaction-free but we are confident in the safety and benefits of our products.”

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) said the cosmetics industry took its legal responsibility to supply only safe products very seriously. “Each and every cosmetic product supplied in the EU must have a rigorous safety assessment... taking into account every aspect of its manufacture, including size,” a spokesman said. “We are disappointed that Which? feels the stringent EU rules surrounding the manufacture and safety assessment of cosmetics are somehow not robust.”

However, chief policy advisor at Which? Sue Davies said although many nanotechnology applications could lead to revolutionary developments in cosmetics, until safety checks were obligatory “the simple fact is we just don’t know enough. The government must introduce a compulsory reporting scheme for manufactured nano materials so we are all aware – and only those that are independently assessed as safe should be allowed to be used in cosmetics,” she said.

The CTPA said it was working with cosmetics companies, European trade associations and the regulatory authorities to ensure comprehensive regulation of all cosmetic products.

Source: Professional Beauty

We Say: It is clear that more tests are required to prove the safety of nano-cosmetics and we may never know the full extent of what effect they have, so why risk it, when there are so many great alternatives on the market.