Creators of
Campaign for
Safe Cosmetics

No PFAS in Cosmetics Act

At a Glance

The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act of 2023 (H.R. 6519), introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), would ban the entire class of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ (per- and polyfluorinated substances) from personal care and beauty products sold in the United States.  See their press release here.

PFAS chemicals are extremely toxic to people, wildlife, and our environment. Several PFAS chemicals, especially PFOA, have been linked to increased risk for breast cancer. Due to their widespread use, CDC biomonitoring detected PFAS in the bloodstream of 97% of Americans. 

Five states have already enacted legislation to ban intentionally added PFAS from cosmetic products. We need federal legislation to protect everyone, regardless of where they live, shop, or work. 

Summary 

The federal No PFAS in Cosmetics Act of 2023 (H.R. 6519), authored by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) would stop cosmetic companies – as well as ingredient and packaging suppliers – from intentionally adding any of the 9,000-12,000 PFAS chemicals  to personal care and beauty products sold in the United States.  

PFAS chemicals are linked to breast cancer, as well as numerous other negative impacts on human health. They pollute our drinking water and persist in the environment, where they continue harming wildlife and ecosystems – forever.

This important legislation would stop the use of intentionally added PFAS in products threatening our health and contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of millions of Americans.

Background

PFAS (per and poly-fluorinated substances) are synthetic chemicals that are often called ‘forever chemicals’ because due to their strong carbon-fluorine bond they do not break down in the environment, and because they are bioaccumulating in humans and other animals, as well as in our food supply.  

Today, the presence of PFAS chemicals is ubiquitous. Given their widespread use, one report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), found PFAS in the blood of 97% of Americans.  

Manufacturers have used PFAS in a wide range of over 200 applications and products since the 1940s, including:

  • personal care products
  • food packaging
  • children’s products
  • furniture and textiles
  • non-stick cookware
  • fire-fighting foam
  • electroplating
  • ammunition
  • climbing ropes
  • guitar strings
  • artificial turf
  • ski wax
  • soil remediation

What does the science say? 

A growing body of science is showing clear links between PFAS and a wide range of chronic diseases and negative health impacts, including:

  • breast cancer 
  • testicular and kidney cancers 
  • elevated cholesterol 
  • liver disease 
  • decreased fertility 
  • thyroid problems 
  • hormone disruption 
  • adverse changes to the immune system including decreased vaccine effectiveness 
  • adverse developmental effects in children. 

Scientists worldwide have called for ending the use of PFAS, except where essential, and regulating all 9,000–12,000 PFAS collectively as a common “class” to protect public health. Also, they have called for avoiding “regrettable substitutes,” i.e., replacing a banned, toxic chemical with an equal or more toxic alternative.

What cosmetics contain PFAS?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), manufacturers add PFAS to personal care products such as:

Lotions, shampoo, cleansers, nail polish, shaving cream, foundation, lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara.

The FDA names these commonly used PFAS cosmetic ingredients:

PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), perfluorooctyl triethoxysilane, perfluorononyl dimethicone, perfluorodecalin, and perfluorohexane.

A big part of the problem are entities along the cosmetic industry supply chain that add PFAS chemicals to a product’s ingredients or packaging without the knowledge or consent of the manufacturer, including to:

  • pigments to make them colorfast;
  • ingredients to make them water resistant; and
  • packaging, so the products don’t stick.

The public’s exposure to the PFAS in these products can happen through:

  • ingestion (lipsticks)
  • absorption (mascara through tear ducts)
  • skin (for lotions and creams)
  • inhalation (spray-on products, powders)

What will the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act do?

1. Ban intentionally added PFAS from beauty and personal care products by deeming these cosmetic products with PFAS as adulterated.
2. Ban the entire class of PFAS to stop companies from replacing one toxic PFAS chemical with another equally or more toxic PFAS chemical.
3. Strike the section in the Modernization of Cosmetic Regulations Act of 2022 (MoCRA) that directs the FDA to study the safety of PFAS cosmetic ingredients.
4.Prohibit ingredient, raw material, product, or packaging manufacturers and suppliers from intentionally adding PFAS that have  a functional or technical effect to a cosmetic product or packaging.

Existing regulations 

Five states have already banned intentionally-added PFAS from cosmeticsCalifornia, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota and other states have regulatory frameworks that could phase out the use of PFAS in cosmetics. In 2020, BCPP championed the successful passage of the PFAS-Free Cosmetic Act (AB 2771-Friedman), which banned personal care and beauty products containing any PFAS from being sold in California.  

Passage of the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act will protect everyone from harmful PFAS exposures in beauty and personal care products, regardless of where they live, shop, or work! 

Endorsing organizations 

NGOs 

  1. Able Differently
  2. Alaska Community Action on Toxics
  3. Beyond Pink TEAM
  4. Black Women for Wellness
  5. Breast Cancer Action
  6. Breast Cancer Over Time
  7. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners
  8. California Black Health Network
  9. California Brain Tumor Association
  10. California Health Coalition Advocacy
  11. California Healthy Nails Salons Collaborative
  12. California Nurses for Environmental Health and Justice
  13. California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)
  14. California Safe Schools
  15. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  16. Center for Environmental Health
  17. Clean + Healthy New York
  18. Clean Beauty for Black Girls Co
  19. Clean Production Action
  20. Clean Water Action
  21. CleanEarth4Kids.org
  22. Defend Our Health
  23. Ecology Center
  24. Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety
  25. Friends of the Earth US
  26. GMO/Toxin Free USA
  27. Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition
  28. Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition
  29. Green America
  30. Green Science Policy Institute
  31. Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition
  32. Informed Green Solutions Inc
  33. Just Transition Alliance
  34. Learning Disabilities Association of America
  35. Learning Disabilities Association of Arkansas
  36. Learning Disabilities Association of Delaware
  37. Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia
  38. Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois
  39. Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa
  40. Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
  41. Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan
  42. Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota
  43. Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey
  44. Learning Disabilities Association of New York
  45. Learning Disabilities Association of Ohio
  46. Learning Disabilities Association of Oklahoma
  47. Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania
  48. Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina
  49. Learning Disabilities Association of Texas
  50. Learning Disabilities Association of Utah
  51. Learning Disabilities Association of Virginia
  52. Learning Disabilities Association of Wisconsin
  53. Los Jardines Institute
  54. MASSPIRG
  55. Moms Advocating Sustainability
  56. National Association of Environmental Medicine
  57. National Wildlife Federation
  58. North Carolina Conservation Network
  59. Oregon Environmental Council
  60. Pesticide Action Network
  61. PfoaProject NY
  62. Plastic Free Future
  63. Safer States
  64. Toxic Free NC
  65. Toxic-Free Future
  66. U.S. PIRG
  67. Vermont Conservation Voters
  68. WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  69. Women’s Voices for the Earth
  70. Worksafe
  71. Zero Waste Washington

Businesses 

  1. Beautycounter
  2. Beauty Heroes
  3. California Baby
  4. Clearya
  5. Credo
  6. CRUNCHI
  7. deClarity
  8. Dr. Bronner’s
  9. Earth Mama Organics
  10. EcoC2S
  11. Eighty2degrees LLC
  12. Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC
  13. EO Products, LLC
  14. Grassroots Environmental Education
  15. Grove Collaborative
  16. Harrington Investments, Inc.
  17. In the Limelight Media
  18. Innersense Organic Beauty.com
  19. Intelligent nutrients, LLC
  20. Juice Beauty
  21. just the goods
  22. MADE SAFE
  23. Mamavation
  24. Naturepedic Organic Mattresses
  25. NIEHS/NTP and Duke University
  26. OSEA Skincare
  27. River Oak Center for Children, Inc.
  28. Seventh Generation
  29. Sprout San Francisco
  30. W. S. Badger Company

For more information, contact:

Janet Nudelman, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics 

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