Bills Introduced to Stop Companies from Adding “Forever Chemicals” and Other Toxins to Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

By B.N. Frank

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to protect Americans from being exposed to unsafe products before they are released to the public.  Unfortunately they have a long history of not doing so and their decisions continue to be criticized, most recently for approving a controversial Alzheimer’s drug.

Thanks to Environmental Working Group and other advocates for continuing to demand that the FDA and U.S. legislators do more to stop companies from adding toxic chemicals to cosmetics, hair treatments, and personal care products.

From Environmental Working Group:

Bipartisan Senate bill would help protect consumers from toxic chemicals in personal care products

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to ensure that the chemicals used in cosmetics and other everyday personal care products are safe.

“Thanks to the leadership of Sens. Feinstein and Collins, we’re closer than ever to real cosmetics reforms,” said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act will require the FDA to review cosmetic chemicals of concern and give the agency new oversight powers to know when products pose dangers to consumers and to stop the production and order recalls of dangerous products.

“Most consumers would be shocked to learn that cosmetics companies can put just about any chemical in cosmetics and personal care products, no matter how dangerous,” Faber said. “It’s been 83 years since Congress last passed a cosmetics law. The bipartisan Personal Care Products Safety Act will finally provide the Food and Drug Administration with the tools the agency needs to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals in these everyday products.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced cosmetics reform bills during the last session of Congress.

The new version of the bill introduced today by Feinstein and Collins will expand labeling requirements for fragrance allergens and prohibit companies from intentionally adding the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS to cosmetics.

“It defies common sense that cosmetics companies can add PFAS – which have been linked to cancer and harm to the reproductive and immune systems – to their products,” Faber said. “The presence of toxic forever chemicals in cosmetics shows just how broken our cosmetics laws are.”

From Environmental Working Group:

EWG applauds bill to ban “forever chemicals” from cosmetics

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group is today applauding Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) for introducing legislation to ban the use of toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in cosmetics.

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act would direct the Food and Drug Administration to issue a proposed rule within 270 days of enactment to ban the intentional use of PFAS as an ingredient in cosmetics, with a final rule due 90 days later.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced companion legislation in the Senate earlier this week.

“Toxic forever chemicals have no place in personal care products,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “PFAS have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. EWG applauds Rep. Dingell for introducing the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act.”

Original co-sponsors include Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), and Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.).

PFAS are a large and pervasive family of fluorinated chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, immune system damage and other serious health problems.

Some cosmetics makers have phased out the use of PFAS in their products. But many companies still use the chemicals, according to Skin Deep®, EWG’s database of cosmetics products, which shows manufacturers continue to use PTFE – a PFAS chemical better known as Teflon.

Two state legislatures – Maryland and California – have banned the use of some but not all PFAS in cosmetics.

“Until we ban all PFAS from cosmetics, consumers cannot be confident that their personal care products are free from toxic forever chemicals,” Faber said.

Image: Pixabay

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