PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine DEP has received hundreds of comments from people all over the state, voicing concerns over the chemicals known as phthalates.
Salon owners joined forces with the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine to call on the DEP to gather more information on the chemicals that can be found in soft vinyl plastics like lunch boxes or beauty products. They are often hidden under the guise "fragrances."
While the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine claims the chemicals have been linked to birth defects, behavioral problems and allergies, the CDC's website claims more human research needs to be done on the effects of exposure.
Just this month Thomas Leighton and his partner Ola Smith opened the doors to their new salon Parlour, where they use and sell products with ingredients so basic, they're edible. Leighton said it's a salon's responsibility to do the research on what's in the products they use, but there are often ingredients not listed or hidden behind other terms.
Brenda Broder, owner of Amore Styles and Skin Center, said she herself has a sensitivity to certain chemicals in products. She questioned why more research hasn't been done on a chemical with many uncertainties surrounding the health effects.
The DEP said it is reviewing the hundreds of comments they've received. Responding to each one will likely take months, but it said it intends to look at the science and work with the Maine CDC to form a decision about whether to consider the four forms of phthalates priority chemicals.