Collins, Blumenthal Introduce Bill to Ban PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics

A recent study found high fluorine levels—indicating the probable presence of PFAS—in just over half of 231 makeup products tested

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, which would ban the inclusion of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics products, such as make-up, moisturizer, and perfume.  The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals, which includes PFOA, PFOS, and GenX.  These chemicals can bioaccumulate in bodies over time and have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, liver damage, decreased fertility, and hormone disruption.  First developed in the 1940s, PFAS are traditionally found in food packaging, nonstick pans, clothing, furniture, and firefighting foam.

 

Specifically, the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act would direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a proposed rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS in cosmetics, as defined by the FDA, within 270 days of enactment, and require a final rule to be issued 90 days thereafter.

 

“Unfortunately, Maine has experienced considerable PFAS contamination, which has not only threatened our water supply, but adversely affected the livelihoods of farmers.  In addition to these agricultural and water supply contaminations, we now also know that PFAS appear in products across the spectrum—including cosmetics,” said Senator Collins.  “Americans should be able to trust that the products they are applying to their hair or skin are safe. To help protect people from further exposure to PFAS, our bill would require the FDA to ban the addition of PFAS to cosmetics products.”

 

“This important legislation would purge poisonous PFAS chemicals lurking in makeup and cosmetics. Chemicals in cosmetics are currently almost completely unregulated, leaving many consumers and makeup wearers vulnerable to these toxic chemicals from everyday use of lipstick, mascara, and other products,” said Senator Blumenthal.  “I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues to introduce the bipartisan No PFAS in Cosmetics Act in another step toward eliminating PFAS from our environment and our bodies.” 

 

“Too many Mainers have already learned about PFAS by having to face contaminated land and water. Eliminating these ‘forever chemicals’ from products is a critical element of solving the long term problem,” said Patrick MacRoy, Deputy Director of Portland, Maine based public health organization Defend Our Health.  “Addressing their use in cosmetics is an important first step that will reduce people’s exposure to PFAS in the near term.  We appreciate Senator Collins’ leadership in moving this legislation forward.”

 

"PFAS chemicals are not necessary for makeup. Given their large potential for harm, I believe they should not be used in any personal care products," said Arlene Blum PhD, a co-author of the study and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. "My congratulations to Senator Collins for authoring the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act. It's past time to get the entire class of PFAS out of cosmetics and keep these harmful chemicals out of our bodies."

 

“Toxic forever chemicals have no place in personal care products,” said Scott Faber, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group. “PFAS have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. EWG applauds Senator Collins for introducing the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act. Once again, Senator Collins is making the safety of cosmetics and other personal care products a top priority.”

 

“It is beyond outrageous that PFAS chemicals that are contaminating our drinking water and threatening human health because of their links to breast and other cancers, reproductive harm and endocrine disruption are hiding in the beauty and personal care products women use every day,” said Janet Nudelman, Director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “Many thanks to Senators Collins and Blumenthal and Rep. Dingell for introducing the ‘No PFAS in Cosmetics Act,’ a much-needed response to the often-undisclosed presence of toxic PFAS chemicals in cosmetic products.” 

 

Click HERE to read the bill text.

 

###