Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Have a Problem with Cosmetics You Bought? Make Sure to Report it!!

Shontell Fleming Wright
FDA Scientist
When it comes to over the cosmetics, counter creams, lotions, hair products - bad side effects can also happen on occasion.

And the most important way to find out if there is a problem, is for individuals to report it!!
If people report a problem, it can be investigated and can result in product recall so others won't be harmed.

Have you ever bought a cream or lotion and had a bad reaction? Did you throw it out? - probably. Did you report it in case there is a batch that's bad? - probably not.

The FDA, the government agencies that is charged to be the watchdog over safe food and drugs, needs your help to identify products that have problems.

But they can only help if they have the information. Click here to listen to Shontell Fleming Wright, FDA Scientist and doctoral candidate in analytical chemistry. Read more about Ms Wright on page 6 here.

So when we say cosmetics - that includes:
o face and body cleansers;
o deodorants;
o moisturizers and other skin lotions and creams
o baby lotions and oils;
o hair care products,
o dyes, conditioners,
o straighteners, perms makeup;
o hair removal creams;
o nail polishes;
o shaving products;
o perfumes and colognes;
o face paints and temporary tattoos, permanent tattoos and permanent makeup.

What do we mean by bad reaction? Bad reactions can include:
o rash,
o hair loss,
o infection,
o or other problems like a bad smell or unusual color (which might mean it is contaminated),
o or even that the label is wrong or incomplete

Where would you do that? Here's the 4-1-1! Contact MedWatch6, FDA’s problem-reporting program, on the Web or at 1-800-332-1088; or contact the consumer complaint coordinator7 in your area. In PA the number is 877-689-8073.

In order for the FDA to be able to track problems, they need specific information, so write these down before you call or log on to report a problem. The info includes:

o WHO: your age, your gender, and your ethnicity (of who used the product) - this stays confidential but is important for them to collect age and gender and ethnicity of who else might be at risk.
o WHAT: product name and manufacturer manufacturer;
o WHERE / WHEN: when and where you bought the product; what exactly happened (describe reaction) and if you had to get medical treatment, the name and contact info of the healthcare provider’s name and contact information.
Then call in or log in and enter the info in the screens and submit!Here's where you start when you log in to report:

Here's the second screen:

Although most cosmetics are safe, some aren't and per Linda Katz, M.D., agency director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors. “.. consumers are one of FDA’s most important resources when it comes to identifying problems.”

So the next time you come across something that isn't right, don't just throw it out or merely return it to the store - report it so the FDA can investigate and make sure cosmetics stay safe!

For more information: Consumer Updates HereWomen's Health Topics at the FDA HereInteractive video on reading medication/drug labels Here