Sam Epstein

University of Illinois at Chicago

Samuel Seymour Epstein (April 13, 1926 – March 18, 2018) was a physician and, at the time of his death, professor emeritus of environmental and occupational health at the School of Public Health of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is known for his contributions on avoidable causes of cancer, for which he was given the Right Livelihood Award in 1998. His papers are held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.

Epstein was born in England in 1926 and emigrated to the United States in 1960. For ten years he held a position at the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation and Harvard University. He then became a distinguished professor at Case Western Reserve University before moving to the University of Illinois in 1976. In addition to 270 scientific articles, he published 12 books, and was active in publicizing claims on the carcinogenic properties of chlordane pesticides, growth hormones in milk, nitrosamines in bacon, saccharin, beverage preservatives, and other food additives. His work drew criticism from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, which claimed that his book The Safe Shopper’s Bible misleads consumers by labeling safe products as carcinogenic. He was a strong critic of the American Cancer Society.

The Danger of Toxic Consumer Products, Fragrances

The Danger of Toxic Consumer Products, Fragrances

Perfumes and fragrances are the single largest category of cosmetic and personal care products, especially hair, facial, and eye. These products represent nearly 50 percent of all prestige beauty dollars now spent in the US Fragrances are also extensively used in a wide range of everyday household cleaning products. Exposure to toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is predominantly through the skin. In contrast, exposure to toxic ingredients in household cleaning products is predominantly through inhalation.