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California Assembly Passes Safe Cosmetics Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2005
Contacts: Eric Potashner from Office of Sen. Migden at 916-557-1300; Rebecca Farmer of Breast Cancer Action at 415-243-9301 x16; Genevieve Roja of the Breast Cancer Fund at 415-346-8223 x31

SACRAMENTO – Today the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 (SB 484) passed the Assembly Floor with the necessary 41 votes. Having already passed the Senate it will soon head to the Governor for signature or veto. SB 484 is an important step forward in protecting the health and safety of California consumers and workers.

SB 484 is authored by Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Breast Cancer Action, the Breast Cancer Fund and the National Environmental Trust. These organizations and other members of the labor, health, women’s, religious, and consumer safety communities urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign this groundbreaking bill.

"Today, history was made for all of the right reasons. Our coalition was able to achieve this victory in spite of unprecedented lobbying by giants of industry," Migden said. "SB 484 represents a triumph of grass roots efforts and the quest for environmental and public health over money and power. Even in the face of a multi-nationally funded lobbying machine, common sense and the public good prevailed."

The FDA does not review cosmetic ingredients for their safety before they come to market, nor does it have the authority to recall hazardous products.

SB 484 would:

• Require cosmetics manufacturers to disclose to the Dept. of Health Services (DHS) ingredients in their products known by the state to cause cancer or birth defects;
• Authorize DHS to investigate the health impacts of chemicals in cosmetics that are linked to cancer or birth defects;
• Require DHS, if it finds exposure to the chemical may be toxic, to submit its findings to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health at the Dept. of Industrial Relations; and
• Require DHS to investigate, when resources are available, the presence in cosmetics of chemicals that have been declared unsafe by the Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel.

Over 20 California cosmetics manufacturers supported SB 484. More than 150 companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to replace hazardous ingredients with safer alternatives within three years, circulated by the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

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Senator Carole Migden and representatives from Breast Cancer Action and the Breast Cancer Fund are available for further comment. To schedule an interview please contact Eric Potashner from Office of Sen. Migden at 916-557-1300, Rebecca Farmer of BCA at 415-243-9301 x16, or Genevieve Roja of BCF at 415-346-8223 x31.