Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, bipartisan legislation to protect consumer health and strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to regulate ingredients in personal care products. The bill will update 80-year-old federal safety rules for the $60 billion personal care products industry.
“Americans use a variety of personal care products daily, and they should be able to know whether the products that they are applying to their hair or skin are safe,” said Senator Collins. “By updating FDA oversight of the ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products for the first time in nearly 80 years, our legislation will help increase safety for consumers, protect small businesses, and provide regulatory certainty for manufacturers.”
“From shampoo and shaving cream to deodorant and make-up, every American comes into contact with personal care products every day,” said Senator Feinstein. “Families trust that these products are safe, but unfortunately many ingredients have never been independently evaluated. Our bipartisan legislation, which has the support of numerous companies and consumer advocacy groups, would modernize FDA’s oversight authority and give consumers confidence that everyday personal care products won’t harm their health.”
“Over the past six years, Beautycounter’s mission has brought us to Washington DC and state legislatures across the country to build momentum for legislative reform of the beauty industry,” said Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter’s Founder & CEO. “That is why we are again proud to support the Personal Care Products Safety Act, a bill that prioritizes safety while helping businesses thrive. We applaud the continued leadership of Senators Feinstein and Collins to strengthen outdated regulations and protect public safety. Much more needs to be done to fully protect consumers and Beautycounter will fight to ensure that the most health protective law passes Congress.”
Consumer and health advocates are concerned about the use and concentration of some ingredients in personal care products. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, short-term exposure to formaldehyde, used in smoothing hair treatments, has been reported to cause a range of negative health effects including headaches and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been associated with increased risk of cancer.
Another example is propyl paraben, used as a preservative in a wide range of products. This chemical, which mimics estrogen, may be appropriate to use in small amounts but not in higher concentrations. According to scientific studies, chemicals that mimic estrogen can disrupt the endocrine system and have been linked to a wide range of health effects, including reproductive system disorders.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act bill would require the FDA to evaluate a minimum of five ingredients found in personal care products per year to determine their safety and appropriate use. The review process set forth in the bill would provide companies with clear guidance about whether ingredients should continue to be used and whether consumer warnings are needed. For example, a chemical may be deemed inappropriate for use in children's products or only appropriate for use by professionals.
The first set of chemicals for review includes:
The Personal Care Products Safety Act would also:
To fund these new oversight activities, the bill would authorize FDA to collect user fees from personal care product manufacturers similar to what is done for medications and medical devices.
The bill is supported by the following companies:
The bill is supported by the following health and consumer organizations: