California - The First State To Ban 24 Toxic Ingredients In Cosmetics

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Toxic cosmetics ingredients ban. On September 30, the state of California passed a momentous piece of legislation into law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, making California the first state in the nation to ban the use of 24 toxic chemicals.

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, or Assembly Bill 2762, targets 24 toxic chemicals including mercury and formaldehyde that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other negative health impacts, Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported. While these ingredients have been barred from cosmetics and personal care products in the EU, they are not regulated in the U.S. on the national level.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Assembly member Al Muratsuchi and will go into effect in 2025, (D-Torrance), Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), stands to have one of the biggest influences on the cosmetics industry in close to a century  The Associated Press reported

“Every day, Californians are exposed to hazardous chemicals hiding in their cosmetics and personal care products. Children, communities of color and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to these ingredients, which are not actively regulated by the federal government,” Newsom said in a press release. “California is leading the nation by banning toxic ingredients from our cosmetics. This legislation will save lives and keep Californians and our environment safe.”

“The science is clear on the harmful nature of these chemicals and AB 2762 will provide Californians with the same consumer protections already provided in the European Union,” Muratsuchi said in the press release.

Also on Wednesday, Newsom signed Senate Bill 312, which mandates that cosmetics makers report any harmful fragrances or flavors to the California Department of Public Health Safe Cosmetics Program.

“I thank Governor Newsom for signing SB 312 which will ensure that consumers in California know what ingredients are in the beauty and personal care products they bring home to their families and use on their bodies,” Democratic State Senator Connie Leyva, who introduced the bill, said in the press release. “This first-in-the-nation legislation empowers consumers and underscores the belief that no toxic ingredients should be kept secret.”

As you might know, the beauty industry in the United States is notoriously under-regulated. Ingredients continue to be used by major brands even well after research has shown them to be potentially unsafe. There are more than 10,000 chemicals used to formulate cosmetics in the United States — and only 11 have ever been banned or restricted by the Food and Drug Administration.

Though the European Union’s list of more than 1,400 prohibited or restricted ingredients is often cited as the gold standard.

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