Policy and Legislation
Most people assume cosmetics and personal care products are tested for safety before they are sold. In truth, personal care products are one of the least regulated industries in the United States. On April 20, 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act of 2015 (S.1014). The bill seeks to reform a $71 billion industry that is currently regulated by approximately two pages of federal law that has only been updated once in the past 76 years.
This bill provides an important vehicle to have a long overdue congressional conversation – and public dialogue – about the need for meaningful, health-protective federal cosmetic safety reform. However as the bill moves forward in the legislative process, it needs to be strengthened in some important ways. This is why the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has adopted a “support if amended” position and is advocating for full fragrance ingredient disclosure in cosmetics and other important strengthening amendments.
Senate bill 1014 exempts fragrance and flavors from FDA ingredient disclosure, which means the FDA will not receive the information it needs to effectively regulate cosmetic ingredient safety. The bill also continues to allow fragrance houses to keep fragrance chemicals secret from cosmetic manufacturers who then keep this information secret from consumers, presenting a serious threat to public health and troubling violation of consumer right-to-know.
Ironically, the bill’s lack of mandatory fragrance ingredient disclosure will make it impossible for cosmetic manufacturers to fully substantiate the safety of all of the ingredients in their products – which directly conflicts with the provision of the Feinstein/Collins bill that requires them to do so.
Because 40 percent of personal care products include fragrance, this means almost half of all products on the market today will not be fully assessed for safety. Consumers have an urgent right to full disclosure of all, and not just some, of the chemicals in their cosmetics and personal care products so they can make safer, more informed purchases.
Environmental health advocates, public health advocates, health care providers and sustainable cosmetics companies all agree that the cosmetic ingredient supply chain is broken and the lack of transparency it perpetuates regarding the identity and safety of fragrance chemicals should and can be addressed in federal cosmetic safety legislation.
Join us in advocating for federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure.
Urge Senate HELP Committee members and House Energy and Commerce Committee members to support federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure. Contact us to find out how.
Given the lack of federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure, consumers are looking to the states to fill the void. In response to interest from state advocates and legislators, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners drafted model state legislation to require fragrance ingredient disclosure for cosmetic and personal care products.
Our model legislation:
- Defines a “cosmetic” product to include personal hygiene and personal care products like shampoo, body lotion, toothpaste, etc. — which is consistent with federal law.
- Requires any cosmetic product offered for retail sale within the state to disclose on the manufacturer’s Internet website:
- A full list of ingredients in the product, including fragrance, flavors and color additives, in order of predominance, except those ingredients present at a concentration of less than 1 percent may be listed in any order (to allow manufacturers to mask the specific “recipe” or formula of the fragrance).
- The Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number for each ingredient.
- Clarifies that manufacturers are NOT required to list the concentration of the ingredient.
- Provides for a fine for a violation of the law, with an increased fine if the violation is not corrected within six months.
In 2016, three states (VT, RI and MN) used this model bill to draft and introduce legislation requiring fragrance ingredient disclosure in cosmetics and personal care products. The bills didn’t pass, but a number of states have expressed interest in introducing similar bills in the 2017 state legislative sessions to build momentum for federally mandated fragrance ingredient disclosure.
If you are interested in supporting the introduction of fragrance ingredient disclosure legislation in your state, contact us.