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California to Regulate 24 Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics

Posted on 10/7/2020 by Lauren Scott

On September 30, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the nation’s first ban on two dozen toxic ingredients for cosmetics and personal care products being sold in the Golden State.

The Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act (AB-2762), which goes into effect in 2025, defines 24 potentially hazardous chemicals and prohibits their use in cosmetics and personal goods, such as makeup, moisturizers, deodorant, and hair care products.

This means manufacturers may need to reformulate their products for sale and distribution in California to not include these newly regulated chemicals.

Read the complete legislation here.

Supporters of the bill point out that there have been no significant changes to cosmetics regulations since 1938. Today, manufacturers are not required to register their products with a government agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor are they subject to safety tests or safe manufacturing standards, like manufacturers in many other countries.

What Are the 24 “Toxic Chemicals”?

Among the chemicals listed, the Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act targets mercury, formaldehyde, and 13 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a series of potentially hazardous substances commonly found in drinking water that are currently being reviewed by the EPA for safety and are already regulated in at least one state.

Proponents of the Bill argue that these chemicals were already prohibited from personal care products sold throughout the European Union as well as other countries. Research has shown that the chemicals are linked to significant health complications, such as cancer, birth defects, damage to the reproductive system, and organ system toxicity.

California’s History on Regulating Cosmetics

California has tried unsuccessfully to regulate potentially hazardous chemicals in cosmetics before.
State lawmakers were scheduled to vote on an earlier version of the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act on April 23, 2019, 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 earlier bill only included 20 potentially ingredients, many of which made it into the latest version.

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

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