How do you make cosmetics safer?

I read a couple of articles recently about pressure on governments to make cosmetic products more safe.  This article points out that there are “toxins” found in even ‘safer’ cosmetic products.  Then of course, there are calls for the US government to pass a Safe Cosmetics law with hearings currently going on and in the EU they are going to make cosmetics safer for infants.

But I wonder, how are they going to do that?

In the EU, they say that companies are supposed to “reduce health risks due to exposure.”  I just don’t see how that can be done.

To be able to reduce a risk, you have to be able to measure a risk.  And if cosmetic companies are already required to produce safe products, how can they make them safer?

If you take out all the “toxins” from a cosmetic, how do you prove that it is now safer?

Making things safer

I can understand how to make a product like a car safer.  You see how many people die or are injured in car accidents, you make a change to the car, and then determine whether less people die or are injured.  Simple.

A similar thing could be done to make children’s toys safer.  You see how many children are injured or die from a toy, make some changes and then determine whether the incidence of injury/death goes down.

With food you can measure incidences of food poisoning or sickness.

With medicine you can measure incidences of disease or negative side effects.

But how are companies supposed to demonstrate their safe products are made safer?

I don’t really have any answers.  If cosmetics can not be proven to be harmful, it just makes no sense to me how you can make them less harmful.  Perhaps one of you could enlighten.

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