Reports of adverse events associated with cosmetics and personal care products sold in the United States more than doubled a year ago, due in large part to complaints about WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, a new study suggests.
Hair care products, skin care products and tattoos were most commonly reported as the source of problems, according to the analysis by Xu and colleagues at Northwestern, which was in JAMA Internal Medicine. There were total of 5,144 adverse events and an average of 396 events per year before 2015.
Complaints more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, rising from 706 to 1,591 reported adverse events.
Results also reveal that numerous reports come against a specific product WEN by Chaz Dean hair care products. Product classes with higher than average reports of serious health outcomes included baby (51.8%; 95% CI, 44.2-59.3), unclassified (50.2%; 95% CI, 44.1-56.3), personal cleanliness (47.1%; 95% CI, 41.2-53.2), hair care (43.9%; 95% CI, 41.7-46.2), and hair coloring products (40.5%; 95% CI, 35-46.1).
“On the other hand, there are chemicals that might, if we use them every day over a long period of time, have small, long-term impacts on our health”, said Harley, who conducts research on the effects of chemical hormone disruptors in cosmetics but was not affiliated with the new study. “It’s concerning when 21,000 people complained to the manufacturer, and the FDA received only 127 of those due to poor reporting from the manufacturer”. However, under current regulations, the companies are not required to report these complaints to the FDA. While the law does not provide more investment to the National Toxicology Program for more rigorous scientific testing, the legislation is good first step to protecting consumers, the authors conclude.
Many cosmetic products entice consumers with active ingredients that will plump, lengthen and boost. In 2014, the FDA began investigating this product. “It’s harder for the FDA to get harmful cosmetics off the shelves”. However, that increase followed an FDA public appeal asking consumers and dermatologists to report health problems related to WEN, Xu said.
“The lack of high-quality data leads to reactionary responses by the FDA subject to consumer pressure as evidenced by the WEN conditioners controversy”, the researchers note, adding that better cosmetic surveillance of cosmetic products “is needed given their ubiquity and lack of a premarket approval pathway”. He suspects many events are not reported by consumers or doctors.
“For cosmetics – and for dietary supplements – the FDA’s oversight authority remains stuck at the levels established in 1938, almost 80 years ago”, Califf said in an editorial accompanying the study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Once these personal care products become available for sale to the consumers, few systems are also in place to monitor their safety.
“If this was a drug, the story would be much different in regards to regulatory action”, Xu said. “At the very worst, there are actual drug components in these products that can cause real harm”. Therefore, if a customer experiences a rash, irritation, hair loss, nausea, or any other unpleasant events, it can report to the FDA and only then will the organization see if the product is safe.