How are Cosmetics Companies Affecting our Climate?

How are Cosmetics Companies Affecting our Climate?

The global worth of cosmetic industry was estimated to be about $20 billion in 2010.

Human intervention has damaged the climate of Earth in numerous ways. All the advancement of science helped humans in one way or another but the price we paid was our health. Climatic changes are having adverse effects on our bodies. A lot of new diseases have come into existence following this trend. We have polluted air, water bodies and what not. According to Vicky Murray,

“It’s not just about the health of our planet, but also about our health and, ultimately, our survival too.”

Cosmetics is one of those fields which have expanded many times in last few years. It depends heavily on climatic stability as it is a key factor to keep this business running. The increasing amounts of carbon in the air are fatal for this industry. The reason for this is that all the major raw materials come from natural ingredients like herbs and other plants.

Vicky Murray is Head of Sustainability at Neal’s Yard Remedies seems pretty concerned about the constant increment in the levels of carbon. She was the first retailer in the UK who was given the certificate of being ‘Carbon Neutral in 2008. She said,

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale is urgent! The importance of stable climate cannot be underestimated – it is everything to businesses like ours.”

The effects of cosmetic products on human health have been a topic for debate for years but the damage done to Earth is probably more significant considering the scale of harm it can do. General masses of the public have gained awareness about this issue as a lot of artificial products are used to create these products. This yield worse than good and results can be extremely dangerous. Some of the major concerns related to Cosmetic Companies are:

‘Natural’ Products

Companies have cashed the word ‘Natural’ to an absolute degree. Yes, it can be accepted that some of the ingredients used are organic and safe for human use but what about the toxic chemicals that simply poison for human skin. As this industry flourished, more and more people shifted their business to this field as it has immense market value. The demand for natural ingredients like Aloe-vera increased many times while the supply was limited. This provided an opportunity to misuse the word ‘Natural’ and a lot of products came into the market that was not natural at all.

For sake of countering that, more land was cleared to grow these ingredients. Also, heavy demand enticed the farmers to make good money through these products. As companies wanted cheap raw material, no measure for sustainability was taken and vicious use of pesticides was done. Similarly, unplanned mining was executed to obtain oil for Petroleum products. As a result, non-renewable resources depleted at a faster rate.

Effects on Earth

Most of the cosmetic products are eventually washed and drained into lakes, rivers, and other water systems. Following is a list of products and the harmful components they have. They have disastrous effects on our Ecosystem.

1.       BHA and BHT are used as cosmetic preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers. They lead to the death of fish and shellfish and causes genetic mutation in amphibians.

2.       Dioxane is used in creams, shampoos, and soaps. It is a carcinogenic compound that alters fish behavior and increases their mortality rate. It is also fatal for different insects and animals. Consider eating fish that have dioxane in their systems.

3.       Hair dying is a common trend in humans. The dyes available in the market contains P-phenylenediamine which is a coal-tar derived chemical that disrupts aquatic ecosystems.

4.       Nail paint or polish is another common cosmetic commodity. It has Dibutyl phthalate to keep it safe from becoming too brittle. It has adverse effects on fish, animals, and plants. Their behavior and reproduction are affected. An environment where the amount of DBP is too high, the mortality rate of all the organisms increases.

All the points mentioned above shows that cosmetic pollution must be controlled on an emergency basis. If we rely on companies to do all the work, we will be left to die. Hence, we must take control of our hands and alter our buying practices so that Earth could be saved for our coming generations.

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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