Schakowsky Announces The Safer Beauty Bill Package To Protect Consumers From Harmful Products In Cosmetics And Personal Care Products

July 29, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON -   Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chairwoman of Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced the Safer Beauty Bill Package. The bill package will include four separate bills that offer a bold and progressive update to an increasingly outdated set of federal cosmetics laws. 

Every day, the average American uses roughly 12 personal care products, resulting in exposure to an average of 168 unique chemicals. These chemical exposures have been linked to cancer, infertility, miscarriage, poor infant and maternal health outcomes, obesity, asthma, and many other serious health concerns. Not only are these toxic chemicals entering our bodies through direct application, but excess product that is washed down the drain pollutes our waterways and drinking water, and compounds doses of hazardous chemicals in air, water, food, and other consumer products.

“I am proud to announce the Safer Beauty Bill Package today with my colleagues Congresswomen Doris Matsui, Lizzie Fletcher, and Lisa Blunt Rochester” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “Already, more than 40 countries, including the EU, are far ahead of us in implementing strict cosmetic safety regulations. Meanwhile, we have not significantly updated our federal cosmetics laws since 1938. We cannot wait any longer. The Safer Beauty Bill Package will ban 11 of the most toxic chemicals; increase protections for women of color and salon workers who are most often exposed to these toxic chemicals; and make ingredient transparency the new industry standard. It is time the U.S. catchup and give consumers the confidence that their beauty and personal care products are safe.”

“Having fragrance ingredient information will give consumers the facts they need to make safer, more informed purchases. That is why I am proud to join Congresswoman Schakowsky in announcing the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2021, which would ensure transparency and accountability from cosmetics manufacturers,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “This important bill would mirror California’s first in the nation law, which empowers consumers to know what they’re putting in their bodies by requiring companies to disclose potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products.”

“Many people assume that the personal care and beauty items they use are safe, but with minimal oversight, many of the care, beauty, and salon products sold across the country actually contain toxic chemicals,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “I’m glad to partner with Congresswoman Schakowsky to announce the Toxic-Free Beauty Act to protect the health and safety of people across the country by banning chemicals known to cause significant harm in beauty products.”

“I am proud to co-lead The Cosmetic Safety for Communities of Color and Professional Salon Workers Act with Rep. Schakowsky to ensure meaningful protections for women of color and salon workers,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “These communities have greater exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. This bill will ensure communities are aware of the risks, create safer alternatives, and include communities of color in reviewing product ingredients for true impact in decisions affecting their health and safety.”

Unlike food and drugs, cosmetics and personal care products remain one of the least regulated consumer products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The $100 billion cosmetics industry uses roughly 10,000 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products, and the vast majority have never been assessed for safety by any publicly accountable body. For more than a decade, Congresswoman Schakowsky has consistently fought to pass a robust regulatory framework for cosmetics and personal care products reintroducing the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act almost every Congress since it was first introduced in 2010. 

The Safer Beauty Bill Package includes four standalone cosmetics bills:

  • Toxic-free Beauty Act of 2021
  • Cosmetic Supply Chain Transparency Act of 2021
  • Cosmetic Safety for Communities of Color and Professional Salon Workers Act of 2021
  • Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to know Act of 2021

“Everyone deserves access to personal care products that are free from cancer-causing chemicals, regardless of where you live, work, or shop. Thank you to Representatives Schakowsky and Fletcher for introducing the much-needed Toxic-free Beauty Act that puts consumer and worker health first!” said Janet Nudelman, Director of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “This bill addresses the shameful double standard, which allows companies to sell cosmetic products in the U.S. that contain harmful chemicals banned by the European Union. It even goes one step further by banning the entire class of toxic PFAS “forever” chemicals. The chemicals banned by this legislation are linked to numerous harmful health effects, including breast cancer. Its passage would take us one step closer to preventing this devastating disease by removing a major source of women’s ongoing exposure to some of the most toxic substances on the planet.”

“We are grateful to Representatives Schakowsky and Matsui for their leadership and for introducing this importance piece of legislation. Testing has revealed that not only are toxic chemicals used widely in fragrances and flavors, these chemicals are often the most harmful ingredients used in our personal care products. And they are everywhere, in everything, from our body lotions and lip gloss to intimate washes and wipes. The fact that corporations do not need to disclose this important information is not only unacceptable, it is creating a public health crisis,” said Amber Garcia, executive director at Women’s Voices for the Earth. “Allergens, hormone disruptors, reproductive toxicants; the more we know about fragrance and flavor ingredients, the more it is clear why transparency, why this policy, is so urgently needed."

“Professional nail and hair salon workers, many of whom are immigrant, women of color, and low-wage earners, bear a disproportionate burden of toxic exposures because of the harmful chemicals they are exposed to on a daily basis." said Swati Sharma from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. “We applaud Representatives Schakowsky and Blunt Rochester for championing this cause, and to help ensure a more transparent and healthier workplace for salon workers."

“Toxic cosmetic exposures are of particular concern to Black women because we purchase and use more beauty products per capita than any other demographic and face many health disparities, including the highest breast cancer mortality rate of any U.S. racial or ethnic group,” said Dana Johnson, Director of the Federal Policy Office of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “That’s why we’re supporting the ‘Cosmetic Safety Protections for Communities of Color and Salon Workers bill’ and the other bills in the safer beauty bill package. This important bill provides a path forward for the FDA to address the injustice of Black beauty.”

“We’ve all seen the headlines: Asbestos in baby powder; lead and other heavy metals in kids’ face paint; and now benzene in sunscreen. Small and large cosmetic companies alike are at the mercy of a supply chain that lacks transparency and accountability for the safety of the ingredients, raw materials, and private label products it provides to the $100B cosmetics industry. We as businesses can and must provide safer products to our customers for their health,” said David Levine, Co-founder & President of the American Sustainable Business Council. 

The bill has been endorsed by a coalition of over 100 organizations and safe cosmetics companies.

1. Able Differently Utah
2. Active San Gabriel Valley (ActiveSGV)
3. Alaska Community Action on Toxics
4. Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
5. American Sustainable Business Council
6. Black Women for Wellness
7. Breast Cancer Action
8. Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester
9. Breast Cancer Over Time
10. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners
11. California Black Health Network
12. California Brain Tumor Association
13. California Health Coalition Advocacy
14. California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
15. California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
17. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
18. Center for Biological Diversity
19. Center for Environmental Health
20. Citizens Campaign for the Environment
21. Clean and Healthy New York
22. Clean Production Action
23. Clean Water Action
24. Consumer Federation of America
25. Consumer Federation of California
26. Defend Our Health
27. Ecology Center
28. Emphysema Foundation of America
29. Environmental Community Action (ECO-Action)
30. Friends of the Earth
31. Grassroots Environmental Education
32. Green America
33. Green Science Policy Institute
34. Hadassah
35. Harambee House Inc.
36. Iowa Breast Cancer Edu-action
37. Just the Goods
38. Kickapoo Peace Circle
39. Kids In Danger
40. Learning Disabilities Association of Alabama
41. Learning Disabilities Association of America
42. Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut
43. Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan
44. Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey
45. Learning Disabilities Association of Texas
46. Learning Disabilities Association of Wisconsin
48. Mamavation
49. Maryland PIRG
50. Mind the Store
51. Moms for a Nontoxic New York
52. National Stewardship Action Council
53. National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation
54. National Women's Health Network
55. Oregon Environmental Council
56. PennPIRG
57. Recycle2riches
58. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
59. Safer States
60. Science and Environmental Health Network
61. Sierra Club
62. SUP Ban
63. The Keep A Breast Foundation
64. The Story of Stuff Project
65. Toxic Free NC
66. Toxic-Free Future
67. Toxics Information Project (TIP)
68. Turning Green
69. U.S. PIRG
70. UCSF Breast Science Advocacy Core
71. United Steelworkers
72. Until Justice Data Partners
73. Vermont Conservation Voters
74. WE ACT for Environmental Justice
75. Westminster Board of Health
76. Women's Voices for the Earth
77. Worksafe
78. Zero Waste Washington
79. 100% PURE
81. Alaska Glacial Essentials Skincare
82. Amyris (Biossance/Pipette)
83. Avocado Green Brands
84. Beautycounter
85. California Baby
86. Clear Consumption LLC
87. Clearya
88. Credo Beauty
89. Crunchi, LLC
91. Distance Learning Consulting
92. Dr. Bronner's
93. Dr. Yolanda Whyte Pediatrics
94. Earth Mama Organics
95. Eighty2degrees LLC
96. Elavo Mundi Solutions LLC
97. EO Products, LLC
98. Financial Alternatives
99. Grove Collaborative
100. Gryphon Solutions, LLC
101. in Harmony Spa & Wellness Center
102. Innersense Organic Beauty
103. Intelligent I-N
104. Juice Beauty, Inc.
105. MirrorMirrorLove
106. NakedPoppy
107. National Foundry Products
108. Naturepedic Organic Mattresses
109. Nature's Complement
110. OSEA
111. OZNaturals
112. Pure Plant Home
113. Salon FiG Salon Spa & Natural Essentials Store
114. Scivera
115. Seventh Generation
116. Sprout San Francisco
117. Suntegrity Skincare
118. Suzanne's Organics Salon
119. The Apothecary's Daughter
120. thesis beauty
122. W.S. Badger Company, Inc
123. Alameda County Public Health Department/DCDCP
124. San Francisco Dept. of the Environment