It’s estimated on average we are exposed 128 different ingredients every day through our personal care products. While most of us might assume that these products are safe, there is very little oversight as to what chemicals manufacturers can put into these consumer goods in our country. While there are plenty of conscious companies who are taking matters into their own hands and monitoring the safety of their ingredients, in general, the cosmetics industry can put whatever they want into their products.
For instance, our products can contain things such as hydroquinone, which has been linked to lung irritation and tumors in mice, and is banned for skin care in Canada. Or, parabens, which are suspected endocrine disruptors and are banned in the EU. Or formaldehyde! Yep, formaldehyde. The list goes on and on, and while we can watch out for some of these chemicals, there are many that we don’t even have on our radars because we don’t know about their safety.
What We Can Do:
The last time Congress made any steps towards protecting consumers against dangerous personal care products was 1938. Our laws are simply out of date. For instance, the European Union currently has a list of 1,400 ingredients that are banned from cosmetics – in the U.S. that list is only 11.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act, introduced last year by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will hold companies accountable for the safety of their products. Among other things, it will: require the FDA to test the safety of potentially harmful chemicals used in cosmetics, give the FDA authority to ban unsafe products, and hold companies accountable for the safety of their ingredients.
Join us in helping to make sure that the Personal Care Products Act is passed. As consumers and voters, we have a say, and our representatives should be accountable. Use the form to the right send to them a letter. Currently, the bill is sitting in committee and it needs co-sponsors to help make sure that it goes to a vote in the Senate. Help us encourage the passage of this bill by asking your-representative to co-sponsor.