Carcinogens in your cosmetics? Welcome to Brexit Britain



How would you feel about putting a lovely dollop of formaldehyde on your nails? No? Well, perhaps I could interest you in a sprinkling of asbestos for your skin? Hmm, tricky customer, eh? OK, surely you couldn’t object to some coal tar on your eyelids, to really make them pop. Oh, come on, who wouldn’t risk a little light cancer for a really banging shade of eyeshadow? You wouldn’t? Too bad. In our brave new Brexit world, where EU legislation is no longer in force, and we are forced to accept trade deals on Trump’s terms, expect all these known carcinogens and more to be appearing on a beauty shelf near you.

Since 2007 UK consumers have been protected by the EU’s “precautionary principle”. Essentially, the EU doesn’t think that chemicals that have been linked to cancer and birth defects belong in cosmetics, and so they are banned from use in consumer products. And who could argue with that?

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