In the absence of federal oversight of the cosmetics industry, states have taken steps to regulate the safety of cosmetics to ensure consumers have access to safer products and more information about the safety of the products they buy.

Numerous states have adopted safe cosmetics legislation.

  • Minnesota banned formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, in children’s personal care products like lotions, shampoos and bubble baths in 2013. The ban against the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives applies to products intended for children under eight.
  • In 2008, the state of Washington adopted the Children’s Safe Product Act (CSPA – Chapter 70.240 RCW), which requires manufacturers of children’s products – including personal care products — sold in Washington to report to the state if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children.
  • In 2005, California became the first state in the nation to pass state legislation governing the safety and reporting of cosmetic ingredients. The California Safe Cosmetics Act requires manufacturers to disclose to the state any product ingredient that is on state or federal lists of chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. The resulting California Safe Cosmetics Program Product Database is now actively reporting data from companies in a publicly accessible database.
  • In 2018 BCPP co-sponsored and helped pass the Professional Cosmetics Labeling Requirements Act (CA AB 2775) to require companies that sell professional salon products in California to include ingredients on the product label. Now Salon workers and their clients will have the information they need to avoid the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, and phthalates.

2020 Legislation

California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (CA AB 495)

  • We are cosponsoring the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 2762) in partnership with the Environmental Working Group, the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) and Black Women for Wellness. This bill would ban a dozen of toxic chemicals from cosmetic products sold in California.  These ingredients include mercury, formaldehyde, and some of the most toxic parabens and phthalates, all of which have been banned from cosmetics sold in the European Union. This bill is sponsored by BCPP, Black Women for Wellness, CalPIRG, and EWG.

California Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019 (CA SB 312)

  • BCPP and our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are partnering with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Black Women for Wellness, and Women’s Voices for the Earth on legislation that would mandate the disclosure of the secret ingredients that make up “fragrance” in cosmetic products sold in California. Authored by Senator Connie Leyva, this bill will require companies that sell beauty or personal care products in California to report fragrance or flavor ingredients linked to harm to human health or the environment to the California Safe Cosmetics Program Database, who then make that information publicly available.

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