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
EWG sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to stop Rodan + Fields from making misleading claims about harmful ingredients in its products.Read More
EWG sent a letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging the state to stop Rodan + Fields from making misleading claims about harmful ingredients in its products.Read More
EWG sent a letter to CVS praising its new truth in advertising initiative for cosmetic products. The letter, also sent by mail, was penned following CVS’s announcement.Read More
CVS Pharmacy will work to eliminate airbrushed images of models used to sell cosmetics from its stores, it announced Monday. It is “yet another bold decision” by the company and should be applauded by consumers, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.Read More
Marketing claims about the source, safety and effectiveness of personal care products and their ingredients often aren’t worth the labels they’re printed on.Read More
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EWG's Nneka Leiba discusses the safety of cosmetic and personal care products, some of the worst ingredients commonly used and tools EWG has to make it easier for consumers to find healthier cosmetics.Read More
Each month millions of Americans wait impatiently for curated makeup and beauty boxes to be delivered to their doorsteps.Read More
Before he became President Trump’s nominee to oversee the nation's chemical safety, Michael Dourson sought to dramatically weaken the safety standard for 1,4-dioxane, a chemical linked to cancer that is found in personal care products.Read More
Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest maker of both household cleaning and personal care products, announced Wednesday the most sweeping fragrance ingredient transparency initiative to date, said EWG President Ken Cook.Read More
Women of color use more beauty products and are disproportionately exposed to worrisome chemicals compared to white women, according to a new study.
The Food and Drug Administration has failed to act on dangerous hair straighteners that contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and pose a significant health hazard to consumers and salon workers, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth allege in a motion filed July 28 in federal district court.
According to a New York Times story published today [link], contaminants such as mercury, lead and bacteria, and other banned ingredients, are showing up in an alarming number of imported personal care products.Read More
I’m a big fan of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," so when Kim Kardashian West launched her new beauty line, I was eager to buy her Crème Contour and Highlight Kit. Expecting the kits to sell out in a matter of minutes, I ordered mine exactly one minute after it went on sale in her online store.Read More
Almost two years ago, EWG first reported that more than 17,000 women and girls had lost some or all of their hair after using a shampoo advertised by celebrity hair stylist Chaz Dean and sold by one of the nation’s largest direct marketing firms.Read More
Vomiting. Burning sensation. Pain.
These are some of the effects children as young as 5 months experienced after using cosmetics and other personal care products, according to data collected by the Food and Drug Administration.Read More
More than 200 personal care products marketed to children and babies may contain 1,4-dioxane, a common contaminant that is a likely carcinogen.Read More
Last week the prestigious Journal of American Medical Association, or JAMA, published two important articles online about personal care products – one finding higher than average reports of adverse reactions to baby products and an editorial calling for greater regulation of personal care products.Read More
It goes without saying that it is important children and all people brush their teeth and wash their hands. However, depending on what type of toothpaste or soap you’re using, you and your family could be exposing yourselves to toxic, hormone-disrupting triclosan.Read More