California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act Clears Another Legislative Hurdle

Bill would ban 12 toxic chemicals linked to cancer or reproductive harm from personal care products.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – 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.

The following is the statement of EWG President Ken Cook on the magnitude of this landmark legislation:

Today the California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act cleared yet another hurdle in the legislative process. California is acting to fix the law regulating personal care products to make it closer to the regulations of the European Union. This crucial legislation brings Californians one step closer to access of the safer personal care products available to European consumers.

It’s a shame that the U.S. has done little to ensure consumers are not exposed to unsafe ingredients in personal care products. It’s been more than 80 years since the federal government last passed a law to regulate the safety of our cosmetics.

That’s why it’s heartening that state legislators are working to prevent cosmetics manufacturers from adding some of the most toxic chemicals to cosmetics sold in California and to help bridge the gap between the health and safety standards for personal care products on the U.S. market and those sold in Europe. The EU has banned more than 1,300 chemicals from personal care products. The U.S. prohibits or restricts just 11.

A diverse group of public health organizations like EWG, Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and CALPIRG has joined the industry’s trade association, the Personal Care Products Council, to acknowledge that ingredients like formaldehyde and mercury have no place in the cosmetics and other personal care products Californians use every day.

More than 40 nations, including the European Union’s member states, have enacted strong prohibitions on the use of the 12 ingredients that would be banned by this legislation. Californians deserve this law, which will provide them with confidence that the shampoos and body washes, makeup and lotions, and other essential products they use each day won’t contain some of the most toxic chemicals that are already banned from cosmetics sold in other countries.

This bill will next be heard by senators on the California State Senate Appropriations Committee.

EWG, CALPIRG, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Black Women for Wellness are co-sponsors of the bill.

The bill is authored by California State Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) and Bill Quirk (D-Hayward).

To learn more about A.B. 2762, visit


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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