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Activists pressure Revlon to get toxic chemicals out of makeup

A coalition says that while the cosmetics giant is voicing its support for breast cancer awareness, it's still using chemicals linked to cancer in its products.
Revlon breast cancer
Revlon hosts a fundraising run/walk for breast cancer every year. (Photo: Facebook/EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women)


Brands that support Breast Cancer Awareness Month while simultaneously selling products that are likely contributing to the problem are nothing new. But this month, three activist groups are banding together to call out one company they say is a top offender: Revlon.

The coalition—made up of the Breast Cancer Fund, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and UltraViolet—says that while the cosmetics giant is running ads voicing its support for breast cancer awareness, it is still using chemicals linked to cancer in its products, like BHA, carbon black, parabens, and formaldehyde-releasers. And it’s circulating a petition that asks the company to remove the chemicals and develop safer policies that put women’s health first.

“The most significant thing Revlon can do to prevent women’s cancers is to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from its cosmetics, which are used by millions of women and girls every day,” Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy for the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. A move like that would do much more than any pink ribbon could. —Lisa Elaine Held