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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Putting An End to Toxic Beauty: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010


Most of us don't think twice before reaching for our toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo and other personal care products everyday.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is supposed to protect us by screening these products, right?  Well, maybe not so much!  The Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act was passed by Congress back in 1938 to require that new products be proved safe before they were marketed.  Unfortunately, that was pretty much never done with cosmetics.  In fact, such organizations as The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Council have reported that most of the personal care products that consumers, like you and me, use on a daily basis contain several toxic chemicals that have been linked to illnesses.
The great news is that there is hope on the horizon!  A press release from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reports that on July 21, 2010, Congress introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, (HR 5786) which allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that harmful ingredients are no longer permitted in cosmetics and other personal care products.  This act, introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., aims to close the numerous loopholes in the existing and undoubtedly behind-the-times federal law (see above) that currently permits the use of toxic chemicals that have been linked to many health issues, such as, birth defects, learning disabilities and cancer, in the products that many of us unwittingly use on a daily basis.


This bill, if passed (and it is unlikely to receive much opposition),  is set to significantly change the regulatory structure of the U.S.'s cosmetics industry and more closely align it with that of other FDA-regulated products, e.g., medical devices, drugs, etc.
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 would, among other things:

  • Require domestic and foreign establishments that manufacture, package, or distribute cosmetics to register annually with the FDA, to include providing the FDA with contact information, a description of the establishment's activities, gross receipts, the number of employees, and the name and address of any company that supplies ingredients for its cosmetic products.  FDA would be required to make this registered list available to the public.
  • Require the FDA to establish a "schedule of fees....to provide for oversight and enforcement" of the new regulation of cosmetics.  The fees would be prorated based on the establishment's sales or gross receipts.  The fee schedule would only apply to companies grossing more than $1 million annually.
  • Require, within one year after the date that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 is enacted, that the label on each package of cosmetics, whether distributed for retail sale or professional use, states the name of each ingredient in the cosmetic, in "descending order of predominance."
  • Prohibit companies from producing, importing, distributing, or marketing a cosmetic or a cosmetic ingredient for which the company has failed to supply the required information under the bill to the FDA.
To read more about this bill, go to: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, (HR 5786).
Here's a list of just some of the personal care products that most Americans use daily (most of us use an average of 10 each day!):
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Skin cream
  • Lip gloss/Lip stick
  • Makeup
  • Fragrances/Colognes
  • Deodorant
  • Facial tissue
If your curiosity has been peaked by this post, please visit: http://www.distinctinspirations.wordpress.com for additional articles related to environmental toxins and their effect on our health.

To watch the "Story of Cosmetics" click here:

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to remember that not only did this all begin based on the 1950s mindset, as is stated at the 4 min 47 second mark, but so too are the test methods we use to evaluate these chemicals.

The larger problem we are facing is that we have "tested" and deemed "safe" tens of thousands of chemicals on animals only to find that the some results are not accurate. It's time to use human-relevant non-animal testing practices as outlined by the National Academy of Sciences report, "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy in 2007."

The potential for chemical reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. We need Congress to mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods and tests.

Elena White said...

You make a great point, in that not only is the existing legislation outdated (1950's), but so is the testing methodology. Section 622 of this bill addresses animal testing and requires that alternative methods be used "where practicable" and also that those methods do not involve the use of an animal to test the chemical substance; provide information that is equivalent or superior in scientific quality to the animal testing, etc.

Anonymous said...

This legislation will put out of business thousands of small independent natural cosmetics companies that have been the driving force behind the big corps move to safer ingredients. Without the competition from the small companies big biz never would have moved toward natural and sustainable products. This bill creates an unnavigable amount a red tape that small companies cannot operate under while doing nothing to actually make cosmetics safer. Check here for the true damage this bill will cause: http://personalcaretruth.com/ or here: http://wingedseed.com/blog/2010/07/24/why-i-oppose-h-r-5786-safe-cosmetics-act-of-2010/ or here: http://sagescript.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-safe-cosmetics-bill-will-affect.html This bill only helps big biz continue to use the ingredients they have always used, by eliminating their competition.

Karley said...

I agree. This act is a GOOD thing and it will not put legitimate companies who test and follow proper methods out of business.

Here is why I support the SCA of 2010:
http://www.chicandgreendaily.com/2010/07/safe-cosmetics-act-of-2010.html

JMN said...

OK. I should be a follower now.

I've been having issues with Google completing requests.

Thanks for letting me know!

Melanie
Goinggreenwithnoah.com

Glenda Pitts said...

Thank you for the reference to my blog in yours - I know all the horrible toxins we have in our homes & bodies...I am dedicated to showing people that there is a better way to take care of home, health, family...

I invite you to contact me so I can take you to a webcast that really explains how to be better prepared, safer and most important - Care for your family, friends and planet!