If you're anything like me, when you buy lipstick or eye make-up, it's because you want to look better, not feel worse. But many cosmetics contain questionnable ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and asthma and respiratory disease. I've switched to more eco-friendly, non-toxic personal care products, but shouldn't EVERY cosmetic be eco-friendly and non-toxic?
With your participation and some determined work on Capitol Hill, it will be. Several members of Congress recently introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act, legislation that would phase out toxic ingredients in our make-up and other personal care products that have been linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm. The act would also create a health-based safety standard to protect not only us adults, but kids, the elderly, and people who work in salons and the cosmetics industries.
Plus, the legislation would require companies to fully disclose all the ingredients their products contain so we consumers can read the labels and decide what we want to be exposed to. Finally, the new law would boost funding for the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Cosmetics and Colors so it can effectively oversee the cosmetics industry and better protect consumers.
The Safe Cosmetics Act is long overdue. Laws governing the ingredients in cosmetics haven't been updated since 1938 – we know a lot more about toxic chemicals and safe levels of exposure these days than we did then.
"The growing number of reports of serious health problems arising from the use of dangerous chemicals in personal care products shows a need to update our laws and protect men, women, and children from harmful exposure,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D, IL), one of the bill's co-sponsors. “Currently, manufacturers are not required to disclose all their ingredients on labels, and the FDA has no power to supervise the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetics. Americans are left in the dark about harmful mystery ingredients in personal care products; consumers deserve confidence that the products that they use will not hurt them.”
"When there are cancer-causing chemicals in popular hair-straighteners and baby shampoos and neurotoxins like lead in makeup, you know the regulatory system is broken,” said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “Industry self-regulation just isn’t working. This bill recognizes that consumers have a right to safe personal care products and that companies have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe.”
Please – take a minute right now to urge your Member of Congress to support the Safe Cosmetics Act.
Don't miss this related post, "Beauty…or the Beast? Depends on the Safe Chemicals Act."