U.S. Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) recently introduced the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (H.R. 1385), which aims to close “major loopholes in the federal law that allow companies to use ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products known to damage human health and the environment.”
According to a statement on Markey’s Website, “The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] does not regulate cosmetics and other personal care products the same way it does food and drugs to ensure safety… and in reality, cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market today.” National coalition The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics agrees, stating, “the $50 billion cosmetics industry uses roughly 12,500 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products—the vast majority of which have never been assessed for safety by any publicly accountable body.”
“The simple truth is that everyday products that women, men, and children use contain ingredients that can cause cancer as well as reproductive and developmental harm,” said Schakowsky. “Consumers think the Food and Drug Administration is a watchdog preventing harmful ingredients from being in their shampoos, cologne, makeup, deodorants, lotions, and other products, but the truth is, the FDA has little power under current law. This bill will remedy that by giving FDA the authority to create and enforce a safety standard to get harmful toxins out of our products.”
Among other things, key provisions in the proposed Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013, include (i) cosmetic and ingredient testing and safety, including the establishment of a list of ingredients prohibited from use in cosmetics, such as carcinogens and reproductive and developmental toxins; (ii) “post market testing requir[ing] the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct annual random sample tests for pathogens or contaminants in cosmetic products;” (iii) market restrictions that would provide FDA with recall authority for products that are misbranded, adulterated, or otherwise fail to meet safety standards; and (iv) mandatory reporting of adverse health effects requiring cosmetic manufacturers, packagers and distributors to provide FDA with reports of adverse health effects associated with the use of a cosmetic. See Rep. Markey News Release, March 21, 2013; The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics News Release, March 21, 2013.