EWG strongly supports cosmetics companies that strive to make the safest possible products. Unfortunately, with major gaps in current cosmetics law, some manufacturers don’t always choose the safest ingredients. The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 would help close these gaps.
Current law requires a company to post a warning on any product whose safety has not been substantiated. But the law does not define safety or require that companies document their (highly variable) decisions on what is safe enough to sell.
The 2010 bill goes one important step further than current law. It would require companies to submit to the Food and Drug Administration the studies they use to substantiate safety. This important advance in transparency will help ensure that any companies currently cutting corners on safety will improve their practices.
Among other provisions, each cosmetic manufacturer would be required, for the first time, to register with the FDA and to provide the agency with product ingredient lists. This will give the agency for the first time a full record of the many thousands of chemicals used by the industry.
The bill has caused quite a stir. In particular, some smaller companies have expressed concerns about the resources that would be required to comply with the proposed law.
However, the bill’s authors have included several provisions to make it easier for small companies comply with the new, basic safety standards for cosmetics:
At EWG, we’re sure the debate will continue. We expect to hear from many more companies. But we hope that before cosmetics makers react to the bill’s new standards, each one will give the proposal a careful, thoughtful read and consider what the bill requires that it is already doing – and its competitors aren’t.
We think the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 would help level the playing field and bring all companies up to the high standard that only some meet now.