It's 9 a.m. and BART is crowded with the morning rush to work. My face is crammed into an incredibly tall man's armpit as I am being pushed forward by the woman with a huge backpack to my left. When we finally break free and find a seat, the scent of the man's deodorant wafts from the shoulder of my jacket and the woman's perfume is hanging in the air across the two rows of seats that separate us.
Every morning for the past week I have settled onto the train and read "Not Just a Pretty Face: the ugly side of the beauty industry" (review coming shortly). This morning as I read about all of the chemicals in cosmetics, I looked up to assess the situation around me. The woman next to me on the bench seat is coating her eyes in a mascara that has been proven to contain lead and other harmful chemicals. The heavily scented individuals that marked me on their way in are wafting phthalates to the detriment of everyone. But above all, I am shocked by how little people know about what they are putting onto their bodies, even after years of research and news stories.