Dangerous Cosmetics

It has been 60 years since the federal government decided to regulate cosmetics. Since then, the chemical formulations and products we use have gotten much more complicated.

But the Food and Drug Administration, the agency overseeing the huge cosmetic industry, still plays by the same basic rules it did in 1938. CBS News Correspondent Roberta Baskin tells us that consumers are getting hurt.

A late night infomercial sold hundred of thousands of hair straighteners that claimed to be "all natural and chemical free" and so safe the shows hosts ate some! The product was "Rio" hair relaxer.

Bobbie Timberlake used it for several months. Her hair started coming out in clumps and within three weeks she was bald.

All over the country, Rio girls were losing their hair.

"Rio hair is the symbol of danger in the cosmetic industry," according to attorney Paul Kiesel who represented thousands of women who used Rio.

Roberta Baskin reports on the FDA's reaction to regulation of such products and the outcome of the Rio court case.

For Baskin's full report click above.

[Baskin's previous reports on cosmetics can be found below.]

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