CA Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act

At a Glance

BCPP cosponsored the California Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (SB 312 – Leyva), signed into law in October of 2020, to require cosmetics companies to publicly disclose toxic fragrance and flavor ingredients present in beauty and personal care products sold in the state.

This is the first law passed in the U.S. to require the disclosure of fragrance or flavor ingredients in cosmetics and professional salon products, due to increasing evidence that hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients harm our health and the environment.

Overview

The California Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020 (SB 312), authored by Senator Connie Leyva, requires companies selling retail cosmetic or professional salon products in California to report the presence of any fragrance or flavor ingredient that appears on one or more of the 23 authoritative hazard lists referenced in the law to the California Safe Cosmetics Program (SCP). The law directs the SCP to then make that information available through its online public database.

For the first time ever, this disclosure will give the individuals and professional nail, hair and beauty salon workers the right to the full information they need to avoid harmful fragrance or flavor ingredients. Until now, there were no federal or state laws that require the disclosure of fragrance or flavor ingredients in cosmetics or professional salon products, even though increasing evidence points to harm to human health and the environment from hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients.

  • Nearly 4,000 fragrance ingredients are currently used in fragrance, according to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), and over 3,000 flavor ingredients, according to the International Organization of the Flavor Industry. These lists include carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, neurotoxicants, allergens and other chemicals of concern.
  • Recent data compiled by Women’s Voices for the Earth, reveals that a third of all fragrance chemicals currently in use have been flagged as potentially toxic by scientists around the world.
  • Testing conducted by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners in 2018 showed that ¾ of chemicals found in the personal care products we tested that were linked to adverse health effects were fragrance ingredients.
  • Fragrance and flavor ingredients are found in 95% of shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, antiperspirants and shaving products as well as fine fragrances, body spray and lotions.
  • Yet no federal law requires the disclosure of fragrance or flavor ingredients to consumers, manufacturers or even regulatory agencies. This labeling loophole allows dozens – sometimes even hundreds – of chemicals to hide under the word “fragrance” on product labels with no regulatory oversight of the safety of those ingredients.
  • The same labeling loophole exists for flavorants, which are appearing more and more frequently in the lip gloss and chap stick marketed to our kids with fun flavors like cotton candy, skittles, Mountain Dew, Lucky Charms and even Krispy Kreme doughnut-flavored lip balm.

The companies must report the toxic fragrance and flavor ingredients to the California Safe Cosmetics Program, and the Safe Cosmetics database will have this information publicly available, by January 1 2022.

BCPP co-sponsored this legislation with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Black Women for Wellness and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

Fact sheet

Learn about the health hazards we found hidden behind the ingredients listed as fragrance and flavors in beauty and personal care products.

Get the fact sheet

Press Releases

February 25, 2019 California Bill Seeks to End Toxic Fragrance and Flavor Secrets in Beauty and Personal Care Products

August 26, 2020 Women’s and Salon Worker Health Organizations Applaud California’s Policymakers in Passing Vital Ingredient Disclosure Legislation

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