“…Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz could very well be the faceless entity overseeing what goes into the products we use each and every day on our bodies and inside our homes. We’re entirely disconnected from the product’s backstory: How were formulation decisions made? How was the product manufactured? How do we know if the ingredients used – and resulting in products – are safe?
Increasingly consumers are concerned about the thousands of unregulated chemicals in personal care and household products. The Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital states that “Since World War II more than 80,000 new synthetic chemicals have been developed and are used today in a vast array of consumer products—ranging from foods and food packaging to clothing, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetics, toys and baby bottles. Children are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals. Their developmental processes are easily disrupted, their ability to excrete toxic chemicals is significantly lower than adults, and their bodies are smaller and absorb more chemicals.“ Of these chemicals the majority have been untested for health and safety. New chemicals are introduced annually without any requirement for testing. So how does a “responsible” manufacturer make products?
Come peer behind the curtain and learn from the experts why it’s complicated to make a “safe” product. Learn how you, as a consumer, Mom, blogger, and concerned citizen, can tell the good from the bad and be a better product detective.
Amy Ziff, Founder of Nontoxic Certified, will moderate a panel of formulators and manufacturers who will reveal the secrets behind making safer products and explore the different certifications in the marketplace.
- How good products go bad
- Why formulating isn’t as easy as it looks
- How laws can lead us astray
- How consumers are duped into buying unsafe products
- What’s not on the label and where ingredients can hide
Amy Ziff is a certified health coach with a genetic predisposition to toxicity. She’s also mom to 3 young kids who share the same trait. Ziff is determined to make the world less toxic. Amy teaches classes on living a nontoxic life and blogs about the chemical world we live in on Amy Ziff’s NoTox Life and she is the founder of the Veritey Shop, a site comprised of safe, nontoxic products. Ziff is currently harnessing our collective purchasing power to create massive change with Nontoxic Certified: America’s first independent, 3rd-party lab-tested nontoxic product certification program. The Nontoxic Certified symbol clearly indicates what products are safe for use on your body, for your family and in your home. Her “buy better” advocacy work has reached over a million Moms. Amy is changing the world for the healthier one product at a time, one person at a time, one home at a time.
Christopher Gavigan is the Founder and Chief Product Officer of The Honest Company, Inc. He has devoted his life to helping families nurture the healthiest, happiest babies and children. “Parents get a lot of advice about what to feed their children and how to baby-proof their home,” he says, “but many are still completely unaware of the toxic risks posed by everyday basics, like diapers, home cleaners, body washes, and laundry soaps. Yet, there’s growing consensus that some chemicals used in these products are linked to chronic diseases like asthma, ADHD, and even cancer.” A father of 3 children, Gavigan is the former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World – a national nonprofit empowering parents to protect their children from toxic risks. He is also is the author of a best-selling book “Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home,” and has been instrumental in catapulting environmental health messages into millions of homes worldwide with a collaborative non-profit partnerships and media alliances. He holds degrees in environmental science and geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has extensive graduate training in child psychology and education.
Barry Cik is the co-founder of Naturepedic, an organic mattress company dedicated to providing parents with a better alternative – high quality non-toxic baby and children’s mattresses and bedding, as well as a line of luxury organic mattresses for adults. Naturepedic is one of the few companies that make mattresses certified in their entirety to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) – the organic standard for mattresses endorsed by the USDA. An environmental engineer by trade published in his field, Barry founded Naturepedic after an eye-opening experience shopping for crib mattresses. Sent out by his wife prior to the birth of his first grandchild, Barry was shocked by the chemicals and questionable materials in the crib mattresses he found. What few natural options he encountered lacked waterproofing and had potentially allergenic materials. Barry realized the almost non-existent chemical regulations for consumer products in the U.S. and a general lack of transparency for ingredients made organics a perfect direction for providing safer, healthier products. Through the use of certified organics, for example, Barry could guarantee cotton was grown without synthetic pesticides or GMOs. Barry actively speaks on the topic of safer materials and advocates throughout the U.S. for the need for chemical reform.
Mia Davis is the Head of Health & Safety at Beautycounter, responsible for developing the company’s health-protective ingredient selection process, while working with cosmetics formulators, ingredient suppliers, green chemists, environmental health organizations, and other forward-thinking businesses to find solutions to the challenges that the cosmetics industry is facing. She oversees the company’s social impact work, including educational content and relationships with nonprofit organizations, academics, and other businesses working to move our economy away from toxic chemicals and toward safer solutions. As a recognized leader of national environmental health campaigns focused on reducing or eliminating the use of toxic chemicals, Mia’s calling is to move the consumer market toward safer, cleaner alternatives. She has authored papers and reports highlighting the consequences of toxic chemicals in everyday products. Before Beautycounter, Mia was the Organizing Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.