May 2008

Cosmetics and personal care products may be the main routes of exposure for Americans to many harmful chemicals. But the U.S. cosmetics industry is almost completely unregulated by the federal government, Environmental Working Group (EWG) told a House subcommittee.

“Cosmetics are essentially unregulated under federal law,” EWG Vice-President for Research Jane Houlihan testified before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act provides the Food and Drug Administration with virtually no power to perform even the most rudimentary functions needed to ensure the safety of an estimated $35 billion of personal care products purchased by consumers annually.”