Congress Reviews Legislation to Revamp Cosmetics Regulations
Both houses of the U.S. Congress are working to update after over 80 years, the laws regulating the country’s personal care products.
The ‘Personal Care Products Safety Act’ was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R–Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D–California).
The bill intends to update the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 such that cosmetics companies will be required to register their products with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as provide information on the ingredients used in cosmetic products. The bill would also expand the FDA’s oversight authority on personal care products.
In the lower chamber, Representatives John Shimkus (R –Illinois ) and Frank Pallone (D – New Jersey) and have started a discussion draft to introduce a similar bill.
The updated law will ensure consumer safety, protection for small businesses and regulatory certainty for retailers and manufacturers said, Senator Collins.
The bill would make consumers confident that their everyday personal care products are safe and won’t harm their health, Senator Feinstein said.
The legislators considered updating the food, drug, and cosmetic law after the FDA reported that some of the talc-based makeup products found at major national retailers Justice and Claire’s contain asbestos. Some of these products are marketed to young girls.
The Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives held a hearing on March 12 to look at the scientific basis that long-term use of products with talc is a health risk as well as the federal regulatory authority over consumer products.
Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group said that the FDA has restricted for safety reasons only nine ingredients while many countries have already banned or restricted over 1,400 personal care products ingredients. Faber informed the lawmakers that EWG has found talc in over 2,000 cosmetics and personal care products. Talc was also found in over 1,000 pressed or loose powders. He added that asbestos, even in small amounts can cause mesothelioma and other fatal diseases.
Many stakeholders, consumer advocates, and various industry groups have welcomed the efforts of the 118th Congress to reassess the decades-old laws that regulate the personal care and cosmetics industry.
Both the EWG and the Endocrine Society welcomed the legislation that would be their tool to properly and adequately regulate cosmetics and personal care products.
The bipartisan backing in both legislative houses, as well as the support from consumer advocates and industry players alike,
give the bill the potential to pass, although similar bills previously failed to pass and become law.
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