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The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act: The Start of U.S Cosmetics Regulation?

Personal care products are a part of our everyday lives. From brushing our teeth, washing our hands, and shampooing our hair, these essential products are vital to our daily activities. What’s unfortunate is that in spite the frequency of use and importance of these products, many companies continue to use ingredients that can be harmful to users.

It’s estimated that the average adult uses 9 personal care products a day and from these products ultimately exposes themselves to 129 different chemicals! Research on some of these chemicals has shown them to cause several adverse health effects ranging from affecting the endocrine system (hormone balance), irritating the respiratory system, and even causing cancer. 

It seems that globally, federal governments are adopting policies to protect citizens from harmful chemicals in their cosmetics and personal care products. The European Union has banned over 1300 chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects. However, in the United States, change has been slow; currently, there are only 11 chemicals that are banned from cosmetics. The U.S. regulation on cosmetic and personal care production has not been updated since 1938, before the introduction of plastics and the chemicals associated with it.

Thankfully, legislators have taken notice and are actively fighting for change. In California, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act was introduced to the assembly in hopes to provide enhanced regulation of cosmetics and personal care products. When enacted into a law, this act will prohibit the sale of cosmetics in California that contain any of 12 known toxic chemicals. Those include formaldehyde, mercury, phthalates, and parabens.

The toxic chemicals that will be banned are known to cause cancer, hormonal system imbalance, birth defects, and immune system damage. The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act is a landmark piece of legislation and will serve as an update to any cosmetic regulation in the United States. If this act passes, perhaps it will be the spark that ignites federal change to the cosmetic and personal care product industry. Learn more about the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act and to receive updates on its status.

Thankfully, these 12 chemicals are already on our Dirty List, along with some other toxic chemicals. Learn more about what we keep out of our line of clean skincare and discover the natural and organic ingredients we do use on our blog and Ingredient Glossary.


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