California Proposes Nation’s First Toxic-Free Cosmetics Law

The Harsh Truth About Cosmetic Ingredients

toxic free cosmetics

Human understanding, whether it be of science, or other disciplines is ever-evolving, with yesterday’s truths becoming tomorrows myths. One such axiom is the belief that all cosmetics are safe and can be applied and worn freely—even daily—with little consequence. Would it surprise you to learn that this may not be true? Would it surprise you to learn that only last year lead acetate (Pb(CH3COO)2) – a known reproductive toxicant and suspected carcinogen—was finally restricted for use in hair dyes, for example? Did you know that cosmetic ingredients do not require FDA approval of safety, prior to the cosmetic product being placed on the market? One state is doing something about this.

Assembly Bill 495

Under Assembly Bill 495 —the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act — Californians seek to ban over one dozen toxic chemicals from being used as cosmetics ingredients. This list includes chemical substances such as hormone-interfering phthalate compounds, to known carcinogens, such as formaldehyde. If you’re reading between the lines, by now you’ve realized that these ingredients are allowed in cosmetics throughout the rest of the United States.

Implications for Cosmetics and Chemical Manufacturers

If AB 495 becomes law, not only will cosmetics manufacturers need to reformulate affected products—if they wish to continue having access to the lucrative California market—but they will also need to develop new labels and associated documentation under FDA’s Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Although cosmetics labeled according to the FDCA are technically exempt from the label requirements under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (including Safety Data Sheets), many retailers who sell cosmetic products are increasingly beginning to request SDS as a means of disclosing the hazardous ingredients in the products, regardless of whether required under law.

A Complete Compliance Partner

Whether you’re a cosmetics manufacturer looking for guidance on how to prepare SDS for your retailers, or whether you’re a chemical manufacturer looking to comply with California Proposition 65 or other global chemicals legislation, Global Safety Management and its team of compliance experts are here to help.