I'm not really partial to government regulations. Not to get into politics, but I tend to just want to be left alone. But it really frustrates me when we are expected to follow restrictions and regulations like a herd of sheep but then are left in the middle of the field with no information, no guidance whatsoever.
Most recently, I feel this way about how the FDA does virtually no regulation of cosmetic and personal care product ingredients. How in the world can the Department of Agriculture make it difficult to nearly impossible for small sustainable farms to continue to operate, but the FDA allows known carcinogens into many beauty and personal care products?
The problem for me is not that these products aren't regulated; the problem for me is the wildly inconsistent stance on regulation the US government seems to support. If we were all left alone, as in Ayn Rand's (and most Libertarians') ideal world, then we would know that we have to take matters into our own hands. Or, if we were never left alone, then we would know that we don't need to use our brains, because someone else is going to tell us what to do. But to over-control some arenas and then turn a blind eye to others makes people unsure of how to proceed.
And, because of the general opinion that the FDA is in place to keep us safe, virtually all of us have harmful products in our homes, whether it be cleaners, shampoos, or even sunscreen. It makes me ill to think about.
Fortunately, I have recently been turned on to a website called cosmeticsdatabase.com. On this site the Environmental Working Group rates the safety of the ingredients in many personal care products. You can search for specific brands, such as ones you already use, and see how they rate. Or, you can browse through products with good safety scores (safety meaning low toxicity, carcinogenic properties, etc.).
No matter how you feel about the matter, this website allows you to make informed decisions. Ignorance is no excuse, at least not when it comes to your family's health.