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's investication of chemical hair straightening treatments, the largest published to date, turned up numerous complaints of hair loss, blisters, burning eyes, noses and throats, headaches and vomiting in women who had been given or had applied Brazilian-style straightening treatments.
Congress, at the request of industry, has managed to delay efforts by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to classify formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen, a significant step for public health protection that other U.S. and international scientific and public health agencies have already taken.Read More
EWG urges EPA to work with FDA to ban all non-medical uses of triclosan, an antibacterial additive and potent hormone disruptor. In a letter to EPA's pesticide division EWG outlines new evidence that the chemical poses an unacceptable health risk to the American public.Read More
FOIA request to FDA regarding reports from Oregon regarding the discovery of formaldehyde in test samples of Brazilian Blowout.Read More
EWG has been monitoring reports from Oregon regarding the discovery of formaldehyde in test samples of Brazilian Blowout – despite claims that the products are “formaldehyde free.” Oregon health officials found concentrations of formaldehyde that were more than 50 times greater than industry’s recommended 0.2 percent limit. They conducted tests following complaints from hair stylists who experienced “eye irritation, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing” after using Brazilian Blowout’s products.Read More
EWG comments on FDA’s 5-year plan urge the agency to give priority to cosmetics safety, particularly nanotechnology in cosmetics, surveillance of adverse reactions and consumer education of questionable cosmetics claims.Read More
Halloween is spooky enough without having to worry about the toxins in your decorations and costumes. You and your family should have your haunted fun -- without being exposed to an abundance of toxic chemicals.Read More
It's a busy time for the multi-year effort to make cosmetics safer in the U.S.Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should have the authority it needs to regulate cosmetics and personal care products - so that you can trust that what you're buying is safe for you and your family.Read More
This morning I relied on a dozen grooming and beauty products to help me face the day. I used soap, shampoo and conditioner in the shower, and gel and mousse when I dried my hair. I slathered on moisturizer and dabbed my face with sunscreen. I applied foundation, blush and eye shadow. I rolled on deodorant. And I used toothpaste, of course, when I brushed my teeth.Read More
The 2009 President's Cancer Panel report, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, What We Can Do Now," confirms what Rachel Carson articulated in Silent Spring and what Sandra Steingraber argued in her book, Living Downstream.Read More
Annie Leonard does it again. This time she tells us about all those products in the cosmetics aisle that we use so many of every day (12 for women, 6 for men, on average).Read More
WASHINGTON, July 21 –For the first time in 70 years, Congress is poised to close the gaping holes in the outdated federal law that allows chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other illnesses in the products we use on our bodies every day.Read More
Have you ever counted how many cosmetics or personal care products you use in a day? Chances are it's nearly 10.Read More
EWG asks the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research to complete its study of vitamin A ingredients, which according to agency tests speed the development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin. EWG urges FDA to make a determination about the safety of these ingredients in cosmetics and sunscreens.Read More
San Francisco - A new analysis reveals that top-selling fragrance products—from Britney Spears’ Curious and Hannah Montana Secret Celebrity to Calvin Klein Eternity and Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce —contain a dozen or more secret chemicals not listed on labels, multiple chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt hormones, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety by the beauty industry’s self-policing review panels.Read More
Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and analyzed by EWG revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products, topped by American Eagle Seventy Seven with 24, Chanel Coco with 18, and Britney Spears Curious and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio with 17.Read More
Thankfully, one can interpret spring cleaning in many ways. Some weed overgrown gardens, others dust every square inch of the house. I like to clear out my pantry and cook a mix matched feast with what I find. It's productive but doesn't involve intensive cleaning -- win, win.Read More