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Environmental connections to public health >>

Support the 2010 Safe Cosmetics Act. It's Urgent.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should have the authority it needs to regulate cosmetics and personal care products - so that you can trust that what you're buying is safe for you and your family.

What will the Safe Cosmetics Act DO? The recently introduced Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786 for the wonks) will greatly expand the powers of the FDA to regulate the ingredients in cosmetics. How?

The agency will be able to prohibit the use of certain ingredients, including carcinogens and reproductive and developmental toxins; recall products that fail to meet safety standards; and require product labels to name each ingredient, including fragrance. Yes, it's ludicrous that none of this is happening now.

We need this legislation - urgently. Currently, manufacturers may use almost any ingredient or raw material in your soap, shampoo or makeup without government review or approval. According to EWG's research, 22 percent of all personal care products, including children's products, may contain a cancer-causing ingredient, 1,4-Dioxane, and 60 percent of sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a potential hormone disruptor. Other studies have raised alarms about lead in lipstick, secret chemicals in fragrance and preservatives in personal care products.

The status quo is simply unacceptable. We need the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 to ensure that we are able to protect ourselves and our families from potentially harmful ingredients.

If this bill becomes law, Americans will be able to go to the store and buy shampoo, moisturizers, body wash and other grooming products with full confidence they aren't laced with chemicals whose effects on health are unknown or downright dangerous. As it should be.

Read more about the bill here and check your own personal care products for safety here.

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