Salon Professionals Call on DEP to Act on Chemicals Known as Phthalates

Press Conference at Parlour Calling for DEP to Approve Citizen-Initiated Rule.

Press Conference at Parlour Calling for DEP to Approve Citizen-Initiated Rule on Phthalates. Kathy Kilrain del Rio, Maine Women’s Policy Center Facilitated the Event.

Parlour, 137 Kennebec Street, is Owned by Ola Smth and Thomas Leighton.

Parlour, 137 Kennebec Street, is Owned by Ola Smith and Thomas Leighton.


By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,184)

Parlour, a new Portland salon,  was the site of a call for the Maine Department of Environmental Protections to approve a citizen-initiated rule requiring the disclosure of hormone-disrupting chemicals found in numerous consumer products by the companies producing the products.  The chemical is called phthalates and is found in lotions, cosmetics and shampoos.  Phthalates are a toxic chemical and Maine does not require public disclosure of products in which they are located.  This ad hoc group would like this information displayed on a website with easy access for consumers and salon professionals as well.

Phthalates are toxic chemicals that disrupt testosterone and thyroid hormones, threatening early childhood development and reproductive health.  Human health studies show that exposure causes birth defects of male sex organs, sperm damage, learning and behavior problems and asthma and allergies.

Thomas Leighton, co-owner of Parlour with Ola Smith, said they are both glad to be part of the effort to lobby for better information about which products are safe for use.  “The fact is, stylists know better than most the dangers of chemicals in personal care products….we are coming in contact with hundreds of products every day….none of us think it’s a coincidence that workers in our industry have higher risks of cancer compared to other fields.” Brenda Broder, of Armore Styles, in Portland’s Old Port said that chemicals are on everyone’s mind these days. “Small steps like this lead to bigger steps. Let’s have no more delays or excuses for a delay.  We want to get more information now.”

Earlier this year 25 Mainers had their bodies tested for the presence of seven different phthalates.  The results revealed that every one of the participants had phthalates in their bodies, some at very high levels.  This information ignited parents across the state, who undertook the citizen-initiated petition effort in order to find out more about which everyday products contain the dangerous chemicals according to a press release issued by Carol Kelly, of The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. who hosted the press conference this morning. The public comment period ended today and the DEP now has 120 days in which to approve or not the citizen-initiated petition.

Parlour, an organic salon experience,  is located at 137 Kennebec Street and opened on September 1, 2014.  (207) 773-9717