A new app has been launched for the iPhone to enable consumers identify potential toxins in cosmetics and personal care products.

Think Dirty was created by Lily Tse following her mother’s breast cancer relapse and her subsequent research into the possible causes of the disease. Tse was shocked to find out the extent to which toxic chemicals are used in everyday personal care products and that the industry isn’t regulated like the food and drug sectors.  She found it a challenge to find safer alternatives due to the lack of transparency in labelling and set out to create a tool to make it easier for consumers to get information.

The app is used to scan product bar codes for chemicals and ingredients, and the product is then rated from 0 to ten on a ‘Dirty Meter’ scale using information from environmental, governmental and non-profit scientific organisations worldwide. The app also lists each ingredient and its potential effect on health, and when appropriate suggests alternative products that contain safer ingredients.

Tse says Think Dirty is more than just a mobile app: “It’s a consumer revolution for safer cosmetics by learning one ingredient at a time, changing to cleaner options, one product at a time.”

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About the Author

Jim Manson

Jim Manson is Editor-In-Chief of Diversified Communication UK's natural and organic publishing portfolio. He’s written widely on environment and development issues for specialist magazines and national media, including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, Time Out and World Bank Urban Age.

Articles by Jim Manson
Jim Manson
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