Making Cosmetics Safe
As a founding member and sponsor of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the Breast Cancer Fund has been working hard to get toxic chemicals out of personal care products.
The reason: the cosmetics industry uses thousands of synthetic chemicals as ingredients, even those linked to cancer, infertility and birth defects.
Carcinogens have no place in cosmetics and personal care products. Yet the United States government does not systematically assess the safety of personal care products. In fact, we lag behind other countries in cosmetic safety, allowing hazardous chemicals that are banned in Canada, Japan and Europe.
Which chemicals in cosmetics are linked to breast cancer?Check our list against your products >
That's why U.S Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (H.R. 1385) in March 2013. The Safe Cosmetics Act would be groundbreaking, written to:
- Strengthen FDA oversight and regulation of the $50 billion cosmetics industry
- Phase out ingredients linked to cancer, infertility and developmental problems
- Create a safety standard that protects workers, babies and other vulnerable populations
- Require full disclosure of ingredients so consumers can make informed choices
- Give the FDA authority to recall dangerous products
Bottom line: the Safe Cosmetics Act gives us a real chance to pass national legislation that would eliminate harmful chemicals from the products women, men and children put on their bodies every day.
There's growing momentum for this change: in March 2012, in the wake of recent scandals involving mercury in face cream, lead in lipstick, and formaldehyde in hair-straighteners and baby products, Congress held the first official hearing on cosmetics safety in more than 30 years.
To keep up the pressure for change, Congress needs to hear from us!
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The Breast Cancer Fund's Lisa Archer told the Times that we will continue to push global giants in the cosmetics industry to make safer products.