Safe Cosmetics Australia

If, like me, you’re the type of person who finds that the scent of perfume hints at toxicity in the air, then you’ll be ecstatic to find Australia now has its own national accreditation for toxic-free products, which means safer products for us.

(Note that I said ‘safer’ because for some chemically sensitive people, there are not many products that are actually safe—there are just ‘safer’ products. It’s a shame that we are made sick by products that are not even being worn by us; and that they’re in the air—emitting out toxic VOCs—when other people choose to wear them. It’s kind of a breach of human rights that Australian people are made ill by chemicals that are not even regulated. Isn’t it? We just want them to wear safer products so that we do not suffer reactions when breathing around them, or have a reaction later on when second-hand *fragrance has stuck to our hair, skin, and clothing.)

Safe Cosmetics Australia (SCA) say they are concerned about public health, safety and environmental issues resulting from the use of toxic chemicals used in the formulation of Australian cosmetics; and that their aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. By that I hope they mean they are going to embarrass the Australian government into regulating hazardous personal care products chemicals.

On their website they point out that:

“The Australian government does Not review the safety of products before they are sold & companies are allowed to use hazardous chemicals to formulate everyday personal care products – this is a major concern for public health, safety & environmental issues.” 

Really? The Australian government would do that? To unsuspecting people? Is that why I suffer ‘The Linx Effect’ (read: trouble breathing) when I breathe in air-borne VOCs from another person’s Linx deodorant? Not just because I’m chemically sensitive but because the Australian government do not regulate hazardous chemicals, and because manufacturers can use whatever chemicals they deem necessary so they can make a nice smelling (*fragrance) product that, in turn, sells and makes a profit? While hurting people?

Good on SCA, for leading the way; this is a great start for Oz. Let’s hope they look into that obnoxiously toxic Linx spray!

SCA, the  only National Accreditation for toxic-free personal care & household products, are dedicated to providing the public with information enabling them to choose products that are made without harmful chemical ingredients. Now, that’s just great, ain’t it? Manufacturers are able to apply for accreditation for personal care & household products including; skin care, body care, baby care, beauty care, make-up, animal care & household cleaning products. Consumers will be able to identify safer products by the ‘Certified Toxic-Free by SCA’ Trademarked logo.

Because people don’t have a clue. I mean, how could they? Unless they are made ill, or know people who are made ill, how would they know that a product contains toxic ingredients? By the ingredients label? Manufacture’s do not have to disclose their ingredients. Perhaps people can tell it’s toxic by the smell? I don’t think so, because that’s how most people judge a product, by the smell; and if it smells nice then it must be okay. Now, people who want to choose safer products will have the ‘Certified Toxic-Free by SCA’ logo on the label to guide them.

An extract from a recent article, ‘Toxic Taint Drives Cosmetic Change‘, in the  Sydney Morning Herald:

“It is alarming that the majority of these chemicals have not been assessed for public health and safety especially when extensive research in Australia and abroad has found hundreds of hazardous chemicals are entering our bodies on a daily basis and passing into the environment with toxic consequences,” says Amina Leslie, director of Safe Cosmetics Australia. “Toxic chemicals are by far the cheaper alternative to natural ingredients and it appears that profit comes before health on too many occasions, considering the Australian cosmetic and toiletries industry has domestic sales of approximately $5 billion per annum. The Australian government needs to take appropriate action to protect the general public.”

To back this claim up, SCA are contacting each & every company that manufactures & sells personal care and household products in Australia, and are urging them to exclude or restrict hazardous chemicals and to apply for certification by SCA – accredited companies will be published online, see SCA’s Toxic-Free List. A list, the top offenders, of Prohibited & Restricted Chemicals has been compiled by SCA; this list of chemicals, which raises concerns for the health and safety of Australians, will be nominated for review by NICNAS.

The day after the article appeared in the SMH, SCA updated their Facebook status:

 “[SCA] is amazed at how many companies are hiding behind closed doors when asked to supply a list of products & their full ingredients… breeds a real concern for SCA’s Toxic-Free List”

By now some of these toxin-producing, symptom-inducing criminals hiding under the mask of cosmetics/personal care product manufactures would be stashing their ingredients list back in their filing cabinets where no-one has a right to see them: that is the law, they don’t have to disclose this information. While the Australian government can choose to put their heads back under their blanket of ignorance so the Australian public can’t see the flames of shame ride up their cheeks!

Meanwhile, in Europe people have something more than a National Accreditation; they have the government legislation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). The EU are definately on their way to having safer products because the REACH regulation places greater responsibility on industry and manufacturers requiring them to collect safety information on ingredients used in their products, and make that information available to the consumers by registering the information into a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. The fact that REACH requires industry to manufacture, import and use chemicals safely means that there will be ‘safer’ products for the European population.

A large number of substances have been manufactured and placed on the market in Australia for many years (just like in Europe), sometimes in very high amounts, without sufficient information on the hazards that they pose to human health and the environment. The difference: here, chemical products are left on the market until proven harmful: a reversal of the burden of proof.

You can subscribe to Safe Cosmetics Australia’s newsletter here.

And you can connect with their Facebook page here.

Or, if you have any questions about toxic chemicals, would like to apply for certification, or would like SCA to review a particular product or ingredient, you can email them here:

Or, you can search in Environmental Working Group‘s (EWG) Skin Deep database of over 69,000 products here.

Finally, click here to read the eight biggest myths about yours/or other people’s cosmetics.


Here’s to enabling people to choose wiser.

*The perfume/and fragrance industry is a self-regulated one, therefore the only thing a consumer can identify in a bottle of perfume is, yep, you guessed it, fragrance… The chemical ingredients in fragrance recipes are protected under the trade secrets act and described on the label only as ‘fragrance’.
And, the term ‘fragrance’ is a generic word concocted to describe the mix of any of up to 5000 chemicals within these recipes. Because they do not disclose to the consumer the product ingredients, it is difficult to identify which chemical component of the fragrance is causing symptoms.

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Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder
Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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