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California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act Fails Amid Industry Pressure

Posted on 5/3/2019 by Lauren Scott

As the world’s fifth-largest economy, it’s no surprise that California is the frontrunner for environmental, health, and safety regulations. But last month, the Golden State failed to move another step forward when the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act got delayed until further notice.

State lawmakers were scheduled to vote on the bill on April 23, but the state Assembly’s Environment, Safety, and Toxic Materials Committee put off the vote when it became clear that supporters did not have the necessary votes to move the bill forward.

The "Toxic 20"

Due to California’s significant economy, consumer protection advocates hoped that the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act would force manufacturers to reformulate their makeup, deodorant, moisturizers, and hair care products sold throughout the US.

The bill defines a “toxic 20” list of potentially hazardous ingredients and prohibits their use in personal-care products. These ingredients include dibutyl phthalate, diethylhexyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, mercury and related compounds, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, toluene, triclosan, carbon black, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Industry Voiced Concerns

Industry trade groups voiced their concerns with California legislators in April. Trade groups like the Personal Care Products Council argue that the substances prohibited under the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act are safe when used “under prescribed conditions in cosmetics and personal-care products.”

While not officially dead, the bill lacks support and consumer protection advocates hope to find votes needed to move the bill onward to the Assembly Health Committee. The law very well may resurface in 2020.

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Tags: CA, California, consumer protection, cosmetics, EREG, health, legislation, personal goods, regulation

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