Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Ed Markey (MA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI) introduced legislation that would toughen safety standards for cosmetics and give the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to check personal care products for harmful ingredients.  Current law allows the FDA to defer decisions about ingredient safety to the cosmetic industry.  In other words, the cosmetic industry is regulating itself.  According to the Campaign for Safe cosmetics,  provisions in the legislation will:

  • Phase out ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
  • Create a health-based safety standard that includes protections for vulnerable populations, like children;
  • Close labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels, web sites;
  • Give workers access to information about unsafe chemicals in personal care products;
  • Require data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing;
  • Provide funding to the FDA so it has the resources it needs to provided effective oversight; and
  • Level the playing field so small businesses can compete fairly.

 

Editor's Note:   As of November 2012  this bill has not passed yet.

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Comments

I think we need a complete revamping of the FDA; it seems to think it exists to protect the interests of corporations (pharmaceutical as well as cosmetic) rather than the health of the American people. And I fear Congress does not have the will to change it, corporate donations help finance their re-elections.

It's about time. After all, the skin is the body's largest organ and absorbs the harmful ingredients we expose it to. It's scary to think about the ingredients used in the products we put on our faces - eyes, noses, mouths - on a daily basis.

Thank you for this post. There are so many rumors and so much hype about why this should be defeated, when it is really a matter of public safety. I am not a lab rat. My body absorbs much of what is rubbed on my skin. It is TIME for change in this industry!

Wonderful news! I am glad the government is doing a better job in policing this industry.

Government must be strict on the law! As we supposed to use this type of product every day!

By the way, Nice to know that the government is doing a better job in policing this industry.

It's about time. This bill is long overdue. Hopefully the bill will pass and the needed changes will be implemented quickly.

Thank goodness that they are finally doing this. The cosmecutical industry has been without regulation too long, and I see results of this daily in my practice.

If they would only now regulate the growing and disturbing trend of medical spas being run by un-qualified individuals.

Wow. I wondered when this would happen. Needless to say there are several harmful ingredients in most cosmetics that most people are unaware of..such as Titanium Dioxide..I know that's prevalent. They even announced that ingredient on aol.com news.

I agree that safe and clean cosmetics should be the norm, but when looking at the whole industry I really doubt that they will cut costs and go for safer and better ingredients. Most people I talk to don't even know about toxins in their products. And with organic cosmetics shelf life is much shorter and you don't always get the same characteristics - coloring, texture... when people will accept that and accept it, so they will change their choice of cosmetics, I think than we can expect something to change.

It's the FDA's responsibility to determine if lipstick has lead in it, and what levels, and what this would contribute to the various sensitive populations: infants, young children, and pregnant women.

The FDA says it has not set a safe level for lead in lipstick because it didn't think it was a problem…but in light of recent findings, the FDA says it will take another look.

This can't come soon enough. It's crazy to let the cosmetic industry pretty much regulate itself as you say.

We put this stuff on our bodies every day, it has to be safe.

I'm not even going to lie, this freaks me out a bit.

I am so nervous about what goes on my face because there are so many different chemicals that can do serious damage.

I was a wreck when I had severe acne and I sought a holistic cure. The chemicals just made my body go wacky. There are certain harmful chemicals that don't belong near your skin and some companies cut costs by using low doses of them.

It's nice to see cosmetics finally regulated but I'm just weird and I worry about what goes on my crazy mug!

This in my mind is a landmark ruling for consumers across the U.S. It has been to long that U.S cosmetics companies have been allowed to sell products with little disclosure of the ingredients.....this in my mind is so irresponsible especially in the case of pregnant women using these products..which they obviously do.

The average consumer buys these products because they want and have been promised a desired result, whether that getting rid of wrinkles or acne ect...and get roped in by the slick marketing campaigns. A lot of these companies central focus has been profit and its sad to say that I am confident that there are plenty of peoples health that have suffered as a consequence.

Janet

having the Cosmetic industry regulate itself is like letting the oil industry make its own regulations. Its just a problem waiting to happen

Not sure yet where I stand on this Act but it’s good to hear all the dialogue and discussion. Safe, clean cosmetics should be the norm, particularly when both men and women use hygiene products daily. Product recalls, whether they be defective technology products that injure workers and require the help of attorneys, or cosmetic recalls that cause fear and worry, can be very disruptive.

It is sad that we are so dependent upon the chemical companies to provide us with solutions to "cure" our health problems. As an organic farmer for 20 years I have seen what good diet and eating nourishing foods can do for one's health. Apart from diet, Look for the organic products to help with resolving health problems and make sure that they are certified not just claimed to be organic. If we ate better we would all have better health.

I think that the government is waaaaaaay late on policing this industry. But hey, better late than never I suppose?

Ok, so for one thing I know the labeling required right now is pretty significant. I also think if they will require more information then how in the world will they be able to print it in a readable font on the small bottles? What and how does this "Level the playing field so small businesses can compete fairly." I for one am a bit skeptical of any new legislation. The ingredients are already listed on cosmetics, if they are not then the company is already in violation.

Ok, so for one thing I know the labeling required right now is pretty significant. I also think if they will require more information then how in the world will they be able to print it in a readable font on the small bottles? What and how does this “Level the playing field so small businesses can compete fairly.” I for one am a bit skeptical of any new legislation. The ingredients are already listed on cosmetics, if they are not then the company is already in violation.

This is about time that the Government step in and regulate the lax rules on cosmetics.

I seriously can't believe it took this long. I've been telling my girlfriend to be very careful with her make up for years as we really have no clue what to expect from most of these chemicals!

Safety standard is crucial to consumer who always use cosmetic. Imagine the risk exposure if consumer wear more than 8 hours.

There is absolutely no excuse for the cosmetic industry to be self-regulating.Even though it is neither a food or a drug it should be externally regulated.

The products look so delicious and harmless, it takes some doing to convince people that cosmetics can be dangerous.

Women have far too long had to endure too many skin related rashes and acne problems due to cosmetics not fit for sale.
Hopefully this Bill passed will minimize these skin problems faced daily by women.

Safe cosmetics and personal care products are needed for all Americans.

The FDA does not adequately regulate cosmetics, and in particular does not have any brief to satisfy itself that the ingredients used in cosmetics by the cosmetics manufacturers are safe for human use and human consumption.

Thanks for the awesome post.
To be honest, it's scary to see the chemical concoctions people smear on their skin nowadays in the name of "beauty"!

This is a good thing indeed. I don't wear make up but my daughter and wife do and they both have had reactions from various make ups. Now you see make up in the dollar stores and it's always a mystery what is in them.

Definitely a good move and much appreciated.
To much harm was caused,so extra safety is welcome.

Better late than never. There are so many poisonous substances in everyday products that when you start researching it you can become quite freaked out. I think that the regulations should be strict. After all our health is on the line.

Well it certainly feels like a step in the right direction. Although, truth be told, there are still so many substances that "could cause cancer but we aren't really sure" that they certainly have their work cut out for them. For examples, some things are deemed to be safe in the US but not in Europe and vice versa.

But like I said, we have to start somewhere.

The biggest problem with these ingredients is they are not properly tested. Just because they are in your face cream does not make them safe. If you look at the new antimicrobial soaps, can you imagine the damage these soaps are doing to the Planet when they go down the drain. Ordinary soap and water does the same thing but it does not harm the Planet like the antimicroial soaps do. Thanks

Purpose behind the extra regulation? I didn't realize makeup regs were so necessary.

i am curious, is this new cosmestic act also apply for cosmetic surgery, or the product use for non-surgical procedures?
EDITOR'S NOTE: I believe it is about products, not surgical procedures...that would fall under different regulations.

The cosmetics women use these days have toxins and chemicals in their ingredients in them to cause cancer, acne or clog the skin pores. I would read up on this blog to see if this includes the women even if they are young or old.

I think we need a complete revamping of the FDA; it seems to think it exists to protect the interests of corporations (pharmaceutical as well as cosmetic) rather than the health of the American people. And I fear Congress does not have the will to change it, corporate donations help finance their re-elections.

Totally agree with all the comments here that this is long overdue. Our makeup products are full of toxins and other harmful chemicals that not only irritate skin, cause acne and premature aging, but according to some studies are linked with some cancers. I've written extensively on the benefits of natural makeup and anyone is free to comment on that.

I say it is about time. I never understood how this was not taken care of years ago. It is as bad as our children playing with toys that have lead paint in them, but that were never checked. Relying on our government to protect us sometimes is very scary. Thank you for the article !

I used to work in a cosmetics factory and believe me you would not want to put it on your face if you saw how it is actually managed. That is not to say there are some good companies out there, I am sure there are but this particular one was dreadful. They later went into pharmaceuticals which was even worse. I can’t understand why they were allowed to do so. They should have been shut down in my mind.

I believe that there should be regulations, but at the same time the manufacturers should have a level of decency to put safe and natural ingredients in the cosmetics. Sometimes the government can't put a firm grip on everything so there should be at least some standard for cosmetics.

I used to work in a cosmetics factory and believe me you would not want to put it on your face if you saw how it is actually managed. That is not to say there are some good companies out there, I am sure there are but this particular one was dreadful. They later went into pharmaceuticals which was even worse. I can't understand why they were allowed to do so. They should have been shut down in my opinion.

Has anyone go through laser mole removal? Appreciate if someone could advise me on this? Thanks

This type of legislation will be difficult to pass. People have to step up to fight the lobbies that work on behalf of the cosmetic firms.

otally agree with all the comments here that this is long overdue. Our makeup products are full of toxins and other harmful chemicals that not only irritate skin, cause acne and premature aging, but according to some studies are linked with some cancers. I’ve written extensively on the benefits of natural makeup and anyone is free to comment on that.

Nice this blog is really good. It would let woman become much aware about cosmetics product. I know beauty is such an essential part for woman, but they should be most concern of their health first.

OMG! Never knew the fact behind this. New products which are harmless should be bought into market. Great news!! Hearty thanks for the article.

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