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Toxicology in the Age of Twitter

By: Steve Herman
Posted: March 8, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 5

The bottom line is that cosmetics and fragrances are mixtures of chemicals, just like everything else on earth. Aliens did not bring cosmetics here to poison you. Everyone knows some elementary principles of product safety. Don’t eat raw pork or swallow a bottle of pain pills washed down with a bottle of vodka. The suggestion carved in the wall of the temple of Delphi—“nothing is excess”—is the basis of consumer safety. Common sense and good science are far superior to ill-informed and emotional attacks, and everyone involved in personal care should make an effort to make this the winning narrative in the minds and hearts of your customers.


  1. S Herman, Two Views of Safety, GCI mag, 178 11 58–59 (2010)

Steve Herman is president of Diffusion LLC, a consulting company specializing in regulatory issues, intellectual property, and technology development and transfer. He is a principal in PJS Partners, offering formulation, marketing and technology solutions for the personal care and fragrance industry. He is an adjunct professor in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Masters in Cosmetic Science program and is a Fellow in the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.