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
The cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane, which contaminates the drinking water of millions of Americans and is found in personal care products and other consumer goods, is “not an unreasonable risk” to the American public or the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.Read More
EWG board member Michelle Pfeiffer met with federal lawmakers today to urge them to support bipartisan legislation to reform a woefully outdated law governing the cosmetics industry.Read More
Today EWG released its 13th Annual Guide to Sunscreens, which rates the safety and efficacy of more than 1300 SPF products, including sunscreens, daily moisturizers and lip balms with SPF values. EWG researchers found that two-thirds of sunscreen products still offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients, like oxybenzone.Read More
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?Read More
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.Read More
More than ever, Americans want to know everything about our food, cosmetics, cleaners and other everyday products we bring into our homes.Read More
U.S. regulation of chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics is falling behind the rest of the world, according to an EWG analysis.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) introduced legislation today that would require warning labels on cosmetics that could contain asbestos and are marketed to children.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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 safeRead More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More