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The Newest Cosmetics Legislation on The Hill

Photo: Jomar Thomas

When our partner BCPP announced that they were supporting the introduction of a new cosmetics bill in the House last year, we were beyond excited. The two previous cosmetics bills, the Personal Care Product Safety Act (PCPSA) introduced by California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Maine Senator Susan Collins and the FDA Cosmetic Safety and Modernization Act (FDA CSMA) introduced by former Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, have been stuck in the Senate HELP committees for years and neither were as strong as consumer health advocates were demanding.

As the old Schoolhouse Rock tune taught us, bills can wait a long time in their committees before they move on to be signed into laws. It was about time something new came along.

A new bill, the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2018, was introduced to the House of Representatives by Illinois Representative Jen Schakowsky. Representative Schakowsky’s bill is different from its predecessors. This bill is the cosmetics reform equivalent of taking one giant leap forward – into a world where purchasers can trust that all of their beauty products are safe and cruelty-free.

Truthfully, bills can be hard to read, so we wanted to save you the time and headache of decoding all of that jargon and share our favorite reasons why the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act of 2018 is different and worth supporting:

  • It bans certain ingredients immediately upon passage and sets rigorous testing goals for the FDA. While decisions on ingredients in the PCPSA and the FDA CMSA are subject to initial ingredient and facility reviews, the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act of 2018 automatically bans 12 of the “worst of the worst” cosmetic chemicals upon passage. Compared to the PCPSA’s 5 ingredients to be reviewed in the first year and 5 annually thereafter, the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act requires review of 300 ingredients within the first 2 years and 100 annually thereafter.
  • It bans animal testing when there are other testing alternatives available. While California banned animal testing last year, the rest of the country still has to catch up. By limiting cases of animal testing to only instances when there are absolutely no viable alternatives to ensure product safety for humans, the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act is more rigorous than the other two bills, including the PCPSA which only encourages alternative testing methods.
  • It sets a concrete plan to protect vulnerable populations. While the PCPSA also identified vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women and high-risk workers, as specific groups to pay attention to, the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act of 2018 sets specific safety standards to protect them. Standards are set at “not more than a one in a million risk for any adverse health effect in any vulnerable population at the lower 95th percentile confidence interval.”

In a cosmetics world where many ingredients and manufacturing processes are self-regulated, the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act of 2018 is the big push we need to put the U.S. on pace with the European Union to make our shelves, salons and products safe for us, our families and the planet.

Join us by sharing BCPP’s Action Alert and advocating for the Safe Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Act with your local representative at http://bit.ly/FederalSafeCosmeticsAct.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regulations/us-laws/

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