Chapman Alumna Malina Fagan (BFA/Film Production ’14) is currently making her first feature documentary on the toxic chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and personal care products. The film is called
and began as a senior thesis that she directed, produced, filmed and edited as part of Sally Rubin’s documentary class at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The film will unveil the personal and environmental effects of the cumulative exposure to toxic chemicals found in soaps, lotions, deodorants, and other products we use on a daily basis.

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“I was walking to class one day when I hugged a friend and suffered a severe allergic reaction to his cologne,” Fagan said. “I researched the ingredients in his product and found that it contained chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, asthma, birth defects and more. Shocked, I researched my own products, some of which were from the health food store, and found that they, too, contained chemicals associated with adverse health effects.”

Through her research, she found that the European Union bans a total of 1,373 chemicals from their cosmetics and personal care products, whereas the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans only 11. Furthermore, the law that regulates today’s $250 billion cosmetics industry was passed in 1938 and is approximately 1.5 pages long.

As an
award winning
documentary film student with a passion for health, the environment, and human empowerment, Malina decided to pursue this important and overlooked topic, which affects everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The response Fagan received from her 20 minute short was phenomenal and it encouraged her to expand the film into a full feature, which is currently in pre-production.