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In a major setback for public safety and transparency, the California Assembly Appropriations committee held SB574. the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019 by Senator Connie Leyva. Without approval, this bill for safe cosmetics may not make it out of the legislature in 2019 and the public still won't be able to find out what toxic ingredients are hidden in the fragrance of lotions, lipstick and other products we use on our bodies every day.
CALPIRG’s Public Health Advocate Laura Deehan released the following statement in response:
“This “right to know” bill is sorely needed because today's federal laws have a major loophole that exempts companies from having to list specific flavor and fragrance ingredients on products. Instead products just list ‘fragrance’ on the bottle. SB574 would have required cosmetics manufacturers to report to the California Department of Public Health if they use one of the many ingredients the state deems toxic in their flavor or fragrance. Without that specificity, we can’t know for sure if our cosmetics pose a health risk.”
“Recent testing by USPIRG found toxic ingredients in cosmetics, from lead in lipstick to asbestos in eyeshadow. Testing by other public health advocates, including Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Environmental Working Group, has confirmed that some fragrances and flavors include harmful ingredients.”
“The United States has not updated consumer protections on cosmetics since 1938, when it banned radium from lipstick and rat poison from skin care products. Since then, countries around the world have enacted much stronger protections for consumers, banning known carcinogens and reproductive toxins from make-up and personal care products that people use daily. In contrast, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration still lacks the basic authority to protect the public from toxics ingredients in cosmetics.”
“If SB574 had passed, concerned consumers would be more aware of toxic ingredients, and probably, in response, manufacturers would reformulate their products to eliminate ingredients their customers want to avoid.”
“It is unclear why the fragrance disclosure bill was held up a Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend. Regardless of the rationale, today marks a setback for the public’s right to know they’re putting safe things on their bodies.”
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