Cosmetics

Americans assume personal care products on the market today have been tested or approved by the federal government. However, they are largely unregulated. In fact, it has been more than 80 years since Congress last updated the federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration does not even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.

Although other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, FDA lacks the basic tools needed to ensure the safety of cosmetics and other personal care products.

Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Laboratory tests of talc-based cosmetics products, commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, found asbestos – a deadly human carcinogen for which there is no safe level of exposure – in almost 15 percent of samples. 

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News Release
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Earlier this year, EWG reported results of tests that found the notorious carcinogen asbestos in samples of talc-based cosmetics. EWG-commissioned tests by Scientific Analytical Institute found asbestos in three of 21 cosmetics products, including two eye shadow palettes and one toy makeup kit marketed to children. 

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, November 20, 2020

In the wake of the Trump administration’s rollback of more than 100 federal environmental regulations, California has again showed leadership, with new laws to protect public health. In the past two years, EWG’s team in Sacramento shepherded numerous legislative proposals to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, with nearly every bill signed into law.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

For more than a decade, the Food and Drug Administration and the cosmetics industry have known that keratin hair-smoothing treatments – commonly called “Brazilian blowout” treatments – release unsafe amounts of formaldehyde into the air, putting consumers and salon workers at risk.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Emails obtained by the Environmental Working Group reveal that in 2015 and 2016, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration urged the agency to ban formaldehyde in popular hair-smoothing treatments, also known as “Brazilian blowouts.” Four years later, these hazardous treatments remain legal.

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News Release
Monday, October 19, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group has added information about healthy cleaners to its Healthy Living App, putting ratings at shoppers’ fingertips for more than 122,000 foods, personal care products and now healthy cleaners.

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News Release
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In a major victory for the movement for safer cosmetics, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, Assembly Bill 2762, into law. This is the nation’s first state-level ban of 24 toxic ingredients, including mercury and formaldehyde, from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day.
 

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News Release
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Environmental Working Group and the Personal Care Products Council applaud California Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing into law Assembly Bill 2762, which prohibits the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products with certain ingredients in California. This landmark bill moves the industry one step closer to global regulatory alignment.

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News Release
Thursday, September 10, 2020

For many cosmetics products, exposure through your mouth may seem unlikely. Still, it’s important to consider oral dosing in assessing the safety of cosmetics ingredients, according to a new European study.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, August 31, 2020

The California legislature passed Assembly Bill 2762, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. This landmark legislation bans 12 toxic ingredients, such as PFAS, mercury and formaldehyde, which are already prohibited from cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the European Union and other countries. The law now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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News Release
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Today the California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, A.B. 2762, passed out of the State Senate Environmental Quality Committee. If enacted, the law would be the first in the nation to ban 12 toxic ingredients, including mercury and formaldehyde, from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A notoriously hazardous cosmetic ingredient now has another black mark on its record: Butylparaben – a hormone-disrupting chemical used as a preservative in personal care products and linked to cancer, sperm damage and environmental harm – was recently classified by the European Chemicals Agency as a substance of very high concern.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, June 15, 2020

Since EWG released its first Guide to Sunscreens more than a decade ago, many things about the products have changed. But myths about sunscreens persist.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Today, the California Assembly passed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, A.B. 2762. If enacted, the law would be the first in the nation to ban 12 toxic ingredients, including mercury and formaldehyde, from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day.

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News Release
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A piece of legislation  winding its way through the California legislature could be the biggest influence on U.S. cosmetics safety for close to a century. The bill would ban a dozen of the most concerning ingredients commonly found in cosmetics sold in California.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, May 21, 2020

As states reopen and Americans leave their homes to venture outside, it’s important for them to remember to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Today the Environmental Working Group released its 14th annual Guide to Sunscreens.

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News Release
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The news, announced Tuesday, that Johnson & Johnson will soon end the sale of baby powder with talc is long overdue. 

Because talc and asbestos can form in the same parent rock, cosmetics made with talc can become contaminated with the deadly carcinogen, which is responsible for the death of thousands of Americans every year.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

EWG today welcomed the news that Johnson & Johnson will soon end the sale of talc-based baby powders in the U.S. and Canada, and called on other cosmetic companies to end the use of talc in other loose powders

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News Release
Monday, May 18, 2020

As many hair salons remain closed months into the national shutdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, at-home hair dyes are flying off store shelves. But many of these products may contain potentially harmful ingredients.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, May 14, 2020

The notorious human carcinogen asbestos has been found in two talc-containing eye shadow palettes, according to laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group.

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News Release

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