Congress re-introduces safe cosmetics legislation in attempt to update 1938 law


Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013, which would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the products we use for grooming, primping and beautifying.

Loopholes in current federal law have left the U.S. cosmetics industry basically unregulated. That means that companies can put ingredients linked to breast cancer (or any other other disease), including phthalates, 1,4-dioxane, parabens and ethylene oxide in everything from shampoo to hand soap to lipstick.

Instead of meeting public demand for truly healthier products, the cosmetics industry would prefer to maintain the status quo. In fact, the industry has spent more than $3.5 million lobbying against similar legislation, according to ABC News.

The 1938 law that currently regulates cosmetics companies has created a free-for-all—one in which consumers are the big losers. Companies essentially can put whatever they want in their products and they don’t even have to tell the public about the ingredients they use. To top it off, they can slap an organic, natural or unscented label on a product, with no oversight. As a result, the majority of chemicals in cosmetics have not been assessed for safety, and more than 500 products sold to U.S. consumers contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union, according to the Environmental Working Group.

At the Breast Cancer Fund we believe preventing exposure to environmental risk factors, including exposures to harmful chemicals in personal care products, will enable us to protect women from being diagnosed with breast cancer in the first place.

Tell your member of Congress that it’s time to fix this broken regulatory system. Take action today.


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