California Assembly Bill 495: The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

California Assembly Bill 495: The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

California law on cosmetic safety mirrors the inadequate federal law. It does not give state regulators enough authority to ensure that cosmetics sold to Californians are safe. What authority the law does provide to regulators is rarely used. When state agencies investigate harmful cosmetics, the results are limited and the products often remain on the market.

AB 495, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, will explicitly prohibit the use of the 20 of the most harmful chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics today. These “Toxic Twenty” ingredients include asbestos, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, toluene, triclosan, carbon black, some of the most toxic parabens and phthalates, and the fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.

The bill will also strengthen enforcement authority and ensure that when violations are found, regulators notify the attorney general, who will then take legal action.

 

Keep Up With All of EWG's Latest Cosmetics News and Analysis

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

More than 40 nations have banned or restricted more than 1,400 chemicals in cosmetics and other personal care products. So why are chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm still turning up in cosmetics sold in California?

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, April 8, 2019

Today Michelle Pfeiffer launched Henry Rose, a new collection of five distinct scents that meets the Environmental Working Group’s rigorous criteria for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency. This is the first fine fragrance line to earn the EWG VERIFIED™ mark.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

More than ever, Americans want to know everything about our food, cosmetics, cleaners and other everyday products we bring into our homes.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, March 21, 2019

U.S. regulation of chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics is falling behind the rest of the world, according to an EWG analysis.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a confusing and deceptive decision today about the notorious carcinogen formaldehyde: Under the guise of taking action, the decision likely will have the effect of delaying further restrictions on its use, said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Landmark legislation introduced today would ban the use in cosmetics sold in California of 20 highly toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm or hormone disruption.

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News Release
Monday, March 18, 2019

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced legislation today that would require warning labels on cosmetics that could contain asbestos and are marketed to children.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

In testimony today before a House oversight hearing on cancer-causing chemicals in consumer goods, Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group warned that talc-based personal care products could be contaminated with asbestos and called for greater oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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News Release
Friday, March 8, 2019

A bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to ensure that the chemicals used in cosmetics and other everyday personal care products are safe, said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration issued a rare alert today, urging consumers to stop using certain cosmetics products from the national retailer Claire’s, after the agency found the deadly carcinogen asbestos in at least three different talc-based products.

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News Release
Monday, February 25, 2019

In coming weeks, members of Congress will again introduce bipartisan bills to ensure that the chemicals used in cosmetics and other everyday personal care products are safe

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, February 7, 2019

Children exposed to chemicals commonly found in personal care products may be at a higher risk of suffering from lung damage later in life, according to a new European study.

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News Release
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Most personal care products sold on store shelves today are made with chemicals introduced to the market decades ago. The vast majority of those ingredients have not been tested for safety, and many are linked to health hazards.

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News Release
Thursday, December 6, 2018

A new study from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency found toxic fluorinated, or PFAS, chemicals at high levels in nearly one-third of the cosmetics products it tested.

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News Release
Thursday, December 6, 2018

A new EWG analysis of serums and essences, popularized by Korean beauty, or K-Beauty, finds that about 40 percent of the products were formulated with less hazardous ingredients. U.S. sales of K-beauty products have increased by almost 300 percent in the past two years alone.

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News Release
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Like K-Pop music and spicy fried chicken, skin care and beauty products from Korea are flooding the American market. U.S. sales of K-beauty products, as they’re called, have increased by almost 300 percent in the past two years alone. 

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, November 26, 2018

Last night, the reality television show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” featured Kourtney Kardashian describing her routine use of EWG’s Healthy Living app and our consumer databases like Skin Deep® to score the personal care products and the food she chooses for her family.

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News Release
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Today, 51 environmental and public health groups, including EWG, called on Amazon and eBay to remove illegal skin care products containing dangerous levels of mercury. 

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

California Baby®, a global skincare leader, is advancing the marketplace with a plant-based solution for preservatives in personal care products. 

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News Release
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration will ban the use of toxic lead acetate in consumer hair dyes such as Grecian Formula, the agency announced today. Lead acetate is the active ingredient that slowly darkens gray hair when used every few days, and can increase the level of lead in users’ bodies.

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News Release

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