National Cosmetic Safety Reform
At a Glance
The antiquated U.S. law governing personal care and beauty products allows chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, learning disabilities, and reproductive harm in the products we use every day.
The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky would make beauty and personal care products safer for all, including children, pregnant women, workers, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations.
The bill would 1. ban over a dozen of the worst chemicals from cosmetics, 2. fund research into safer alternatives, 3. require full fragrance ingredient disclosure, and 4. ban most animal testing.
Outdated U.S. Cosmetic Law Needs Reform
You may assume that beauty and personal care products are safe, but in reality, cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market today. Due to gaping holes in federal law, it is perfectly legal for cosmetics companies to use ingredients with known hazards to human health and the environment without FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) safety testing or review. The law that governs this enormous industry is 2.5 pages long and over 80 years out of date.
We need a law that gives the FDA the authority to ensure personal care and cosmetic products are safe for people and the planet.
Specifically, U.S. Congress must strengthen the FDA’s authority, including:
- Ensuring children, pregnant women, workers and other highly exposed populations are protected from unsafe chemicals in beauty and personal care products;
- Closing labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure for professional salon products, fragrance ingredients and Internet sales of cosmetic products; Requiring industry data sharing of safety studies to assist small businesses and the FDA, and to decrease unnecessary animal testing;
- Mandating supply chain transparency so companies have access to the ingredient information and safety data they need to make safer products; and
- Ensuring the public has easy access to adverse event reports related to cosmetic products that are causing real harm to large numbers of consumers.
Pass Schakowsky’s Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019
BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics supports the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 (H.R. 4296) introduced by Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). This bill will overhaul the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the law governing the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors. It would make cosmetics safe for infants, children, pregnant women, beauty workers and other highly exposed, vulnerable populations.
Rep. Schakowsky’s Safe Cosmetics Act would:
- Ban over a dozen of the worst chemicals from cosmetics
- Fund research into safer alternatives to toxic chemicals negatively impacting communities of color and salon workers
- Require full fragrance ingredient disclosure
- Ban most animal testing
The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 is the only federal cosmetic safety legislation calling for supply chain transparency and an end to secret fragrance chemicals.
Strong safety provisions in the bill would advance the FDA’s ability to improve cosmetic safety and protect Americans’ health. The Safe Cosmetics Act calls for:
- The creation of a safety standard for cosmetic ingredients based on a reasonable certainty of no harm that protects vulnerable populations including infants, children, pregnant women, workers and other highly exposed populations.
- Pre-market safety assessment of all new cosmetic ingredients and compilation of all safety data on existing cosmetic ingredients.
- Disclosure of fragrance allergens and toxic fragrance ingredients on cosmetics labels and full fragrance ingredient disclosure on a manufacturer–or internet vendor’s–website.
- Immediately banning some of the most toxic chemicals in cosmetics as well as directing the FDA to assess 30 cosmetic ingredients for safety within first two years of bill enactment.
- The creation of a new grants program to be administered by the EPA’s Office of Green Chemistry to fund the creation of safer alternatives to chemicals of concern in professional salon products and products marketed to women of color.
- The creation of a new grants program to provide support for research on health disparities impacting communities of color.
- Mandatory cosmetic facility registration, good manufacturing practices and cosmetic ingredient disclosure to the FDA.
- FDA notification, non-distribution, and recall of adulterated or misbranded cosmetics.
- A ban on the use of animal testing for any ingredient that has validated non-animal testing alternative.
- Providing public access to serious adverse event reports.
- The creation of an Interagency Council on Cosmetics Safety to share ingredient safety data between FDA, NIEHS, OSHA, CDC and EPA.
- The creation of a savings clause that protects the rights of the States to legislate on cosmetic safety.
- Giving special considerations and technical support for small businesses to help level the playing field.
Strengthen the Feinstein & Collins Personal Care Products Safety Act of 2019
Meanwhile, BCPP is working to strengthen cosmetic safety legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.726) by Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Collins (R-ME)–“The Personal Care Products Safety Act of 2019.” BCPP has taken a “support if amended” position on this bill because:
- It fails to reveal toxic fragrance ingredients.
- It does not have a strong enough safety standard for cosmetic manufacturers.
- It allows industry to self-certify the safety of cosmetic ingredients.
- It does not make adverse serious event reporting public.
- It prohibits states from enacting safer cosmetics legislation.
California Cosmetics Legislation
BCPP sponsored legislation in California to require the disclosure of fragrance and flavor ingredients in beauty and personal care products that are toxic to human health or the environment. California’s Senate passed the “Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019 (SB 574) and the bill is working its way through the State Assembly. Learn more