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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Environmental Working Group commends Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for protecting Americans from exposure to a potentially toxic contaminant in personal care products.
 
 

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News Release
Friday, March 31, 2017

Denver-based cosmetics and personal care brand Mineral Fusion will begin selling over 125 EWG VERIFIED™ color cosmetics in more than 300 CVS stores in California, making its product line more conveniently accessible to the health-minded consumer. 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, February 27, 2017

A group of public health advocates today announced that the Food and Drug Administration will consider removing its approval of lead acetate in hair dyes such as Grecian Formula. The group filed a joint petition that requires FDA to revisit a 1980 decision allowing the neurotoxin and carcinogen to remain in hair dye.
 

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News Release
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On Valentine's Day, sweethearts bestow millions of lipstick-stained kisses. But those smooches could include a dose of lead.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The EWG VERIFIED™ program now features 833 top-rated personal care and cosmetics products, allowing consumers to quickly spot items that meet stringent ingredient and transparency requirements.
 

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News Release
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Today the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth sued the Food and Drug Administration for its failure to protect the public from dangers associated with popular hair straightening treatments.
 

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News Release
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Every day, people apply cosmetics and other personal care products to their skin and hair. The average American woman uses 12 personal care products a day, exposing herself to 168 different chemicals. The average man uses six products a day, containing 85 unique chemical ingredients.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In a growing market for Black cosmetics, Black women nonetheless have limited choices for products that score low in potentially harmful ingredients, an EWG analysis of more than 1,100 products found. Because black women appear to buy and use more personal care products, the limited options could mean they are being exposed to more potentially hazardous chemicals.
 

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News Release
Friday, December 2, 2016

Heading into the holiday season, there was some good news out of the EPA. The agency listed the first batch of toxic chemicals it will tackle, which includes asbestos. Also this week, EWG took part in a forum to discuss how Congress and the Trump administration will shape the next farm bill.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

 EWG’s Skin Deep® adds more than 1,000 products marketed to Black women

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, November 4, 2016

This week, EWG joined forces with our colleagues at Waterkeeper Alliance again to show how industrial animal farms can wreak havoc on public health and the environment. Through startling aerial imagery, the report documents a number of factory farms along North Carolina’s floodplain that were swamped by Hurricane Matthew, exposing local waterways to a deluge of animal waste from swine and poultry barns, and brimming manure pits.

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Energy
Article
Friday, October 28, 2016

It’s another busy week at EWG. Here’s some news you can use from this week.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Looking for organic cosmetics? Lots of companies add the word “organic” to cosmetics and other personal care products.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products, a new EWG analysis shows. 

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, October 14, 2016

In June, Congress passed sweeping legislation to update the way chemicals are used in consumer and industrial products. The new law aims to review old chemicals that are already in the marketplace and review new chemicals entering the marketplace.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, September 22, 2016

The cosmetics industry has grown dramatically since 1938, when Congress last enacted cosmetics legislation. While most chemicals in cosmetics pose little or no risk, some chemicals have been linked to serious health problems, including chemicals that disrupt the hormone system.
 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

EWG Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber said that draft cosmetics legislation released today by Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., will help make regulation of cosmetics and personal care products a Congressional priority.
 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, September 12, 2016

When you’re trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle, diet and exercise tend to get most of the attention. But there’s another critical step to living healthier: reducing your intake of toxic chemicals.
 

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, S.1014, which would modernize federal oversight of personal care products. The bill offers common sense reforms that were carefully negotiated among numerous stakeholders, including industry, public health and consumer organizations. This bill has garnered support from industry leaders as well as influential health and consumer organizations.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

 

Dear Mary Kay:

I urge Mary Kay to join cosmetic industry leaders – including L’Oreal, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and many others – in support S.1014, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence

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