Safety of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxides
I've recently found some cosmetic powders mostly made of cornstarch and iron oxides. Are iron oxides just as bad as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide? After reading about these ingredients in your e-book Debra's Guide To Choosing Natural Sun Protection I'm wondering if iron oxides are just as bad.
Thanks! Thanks also for the e-book!!! It's great info!!!
POSTED BY R. R. :: GEORGIA USA :: 05/06/2006
Iron oxides are used in almost 2,000 cosmetics products. I don't know how they are processed, but they are naturally occurring minerals in Nature. I was once driving through the deserts in the Southwest and stopped to look at the colored rock by the side of the road. They had so many colors I could see how they could just be ground up to make cosmetics.
The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website says only that they are concerned that iron oxides have not been assessed for safety. I have not heard of any concerns about the health effects of iron oxides over the years.
Contrast this to the fact that the same source says titanium dioxide is a suspected human carcinogen and zinc oxide is known to be an immune system toxin and a respiratory toxicant, and may present risks to human reproduction and development based on limited data, and I would say iron oxides are much safer. I don't see any reason to not use them.