Schakowsky Introduces Bill to Reduce Exposure to Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics
WASHINGTON, DC ( July 21, 2010) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today announced the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, H.R. 5786. The legislation will close the major loopholes in federal law that allow companies to use virtually any ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products—even chemicals that are known to damage human health and the environment.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cosmetics the same way it does food and drugs to ensure safety. Cosmetics, it turns out, are some of the least regulated consumer products on the market. The $50 billion cosmetics industry uses roughly 12,500 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products—the vast majority of which have never been assessed for safety by any publicly accountable body. And according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Americans use an average of 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to more than 126 unique chemicals.
“Harmful chemicals have no place in the products we put on our bodies or on our children’s bodies,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Our cosmetics laws are woefully out of date—manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose all their ingredients on labels, leaving Americans unknowingly exposed to harmful mystery ingredients. This bill will finally protect those consumers.”
Rep. Ed Markey: “From lipstick to lotion, our medicine cabinets are filled with personal care products that may contain potentially dangerous chemicals. This important bill closes a gaping hole in our Federal Laws that allows potentially dangerous chemicals to remain in the cosmetic products we use every day.”
Rep. Tammy Baldwin: “Scientists are increasingly linking chemicals in personal care products to cancer, learning disabilities and other widespread health problems in our society. I am proud to join Reps. Schakowsky and Markey in introducing common sense legislation that says it’s time to ensure the products we use are safe.”
Key Provisions in the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010:
Cosmetic and Ingredient Testing and Safety: FDA would establish a list of ingredients prohibited from being used in cosmetics. Requires manufacturers to conduct safety assessments and submit information to the FDA.
Ingredient Labels on Cosmetics: The label on each package of cosmetics would be required to list the name of each ingredient, including the components of fragrance.
Post Market Testing: Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct annual random sample tests for pathogens or contaminants in cosmetic products.
Market Restrictions: For products that fail to meet the safety standard, HR 5789 would provide the FDA with recall authority, the ability to request a voluntary recall or to order a halt to distribution.
Cosmetics and Ingredient Statements: Companies would have to submit ingredient statements for every product they manufacture to the FDA.
Mandatory Reporting of Adverse Health Effects: Cosmetic Manufacturers, packagers, and distributors would have to submit a report to the FDA on any serious adverse events associated with the use of a cosmetic.
Worker Issues: Requires companies that distribute cosmetics for salon use to provide information on health hazards listed by authoritative bodies or found in scientific studies.
States Rights: States may set more stringent standards.
Registration of Cosmetic Companies and Registration Fees: Cosmetics companies would be required to register with FDA and pay registration fees.