Reproductive Justice and Toxics-free Beauty Products

BWW Environmental Justice program goals include increasing education and awareness among Black women & girls of our exposures to toxic chemicals, chemicals in our environment and share strategies to reduce our exposure.

In 2017, this program outreached to 27 salons and cosmetology schools in South Los Angeles (each multiple times) speaking with beauty professionals, stylists and managers on exposures and protections from chemicals in beauty, cleaning and personal care products. Through this outreach we have reached a minimum of 120 hair care professionals. Our community outreach at health events reached well over 250 people, our trainings shared information with 35 researchers and academic institution personnel. BWW staff also shared information with 10 elected representatives on the over exposure and under protection of our beauty industry professionals. BWW published and printed 2000 chem cards which are distributed to community members as an assist when shopping for beauty, personal care and cleaning products.

Black women are the largest cosmetics consumers of any US demographic, spending $7.6 billion annually—51% higher than the national average. Many hair care products and processes are known to contain chemicals of concern that can negatively impact our reproductive, developmental and overall general health. There has been little research, literature, and awareness about the health impacts of toxic chemicals on both beauty care workers and consumers. The following factsheet was developed by Black Women for Wellness to educate and enlighten beauty workers and consumers on toxins in personal care products