Happy Monday all! There’s some exciting news today in clean revolution land. Congress reps Jan Schakowsky, Ed Markey, and Tammy Baldwin have introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011—you know, because they think it’s time to update a law that was written in 1938 that gives all of the power to industry, and no protection to consumers. Here are the details of what the act covers, from Cosmetics Design:
- Require safety assessment of all cosmetics ingredients using a health-based standard that includes protections for children, the elderly, workers and other vulnerable populations.
- Phase out of cosmetics any ingredient linked to cancer, birth defects and reproductive or developmental harm.
- Require registration of cosmetic manufacturing, packaging and distributing facilities. Micro businesses with annual revenue under $2 million are exempt from registration
- Close labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and websites including salon products and the constituent ingredients in fragrances.
- Give workers access to information about hazardous chemicals in personal care products used in professional salons.
- Require data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing, encourage transparency and reduce the need for animal testing. Validated alternatives to animal testing will also be encouraged.
- Give the FDA recall authority and require notification of adverse health effects to the FDA.
- Provide adequate funding and support to the FDA office of cosmetics and colors so it can provide effective oversight to the cosmetics industry.
- Establish a pro-rated registration fee to generate the resources needed to administer the Act, while exempting small businesses with annual revenue under $10 million.
- Direct the FDA to provide technical support to small businesses to help them carry out the requirements of the Act.
- Protect stronger state and local laws.
Putting aside the will-it-won’t-it pass, what else would you like to see new legislation change?
Good morning! Is it overcast and dreary where you are too? This might brighten your spirits:
In a big, bold move, the American Academy of Pediatrics is saying the U.S. is failing to protect kids from toxic chemicals.
From the wires:
“Children are not little adults,” Paulson, of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., told Reuters Health. “Their bodies are different and their behaviors are different. That means that their exposures to chemicals in the environment are different, and the way their bodies (break down) those chemicals are different.”
Kids may be especially vulnerable to chemicals during important periods in development, when their brains and bodies are changing quickly, Paulson added.
Of course we know this already, and we also know it’s not just children (and fetuses) that are at risk, but it’s amazing to see it getting more muscle behind it. Plus, the kid angle is always an especially compelling one, and one that will certainly increase pressure to update the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Happy news, right?
Happy baby pose via this amazing site, with stick drawings of yoga poses
Yesterday Siobhan and I sat in on a press conference call with other journalists, Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Tammy Baldwin and Ed Markey, cancer survivor and activist Fran Drescher (aka the Nanny) and members of the EWG and the Breast Cancer Fund.
On the call, Rep. Schakowsky announced new legislation proposing stricter regulation of personal care products. For those of you who have read the book, you know that the subject of regulation is near and dear to our hearts.
Among other things, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 would provide more regulatory power to the FDA (including the authority to force recalls), establish a list of prohibited ingredients and require manufacturers to conduct safety assessments and submit that information to the FDA. It would even demand that fragrance ingredients be listed on labels, ammending longstanding trade-secret protection laws. In a statement from Schakowsky:
“Our cosmetics laws are woefully out of date—manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose all their ingredients on labels, leaving Americans unknowingly exposed to harmful mystery ingredients. This bill will finally protect those consumers.”
If you’re new to the site or the subject, you may be surprised that these protective measures aren’t already in place—welcome to the shock we felt when we first discovered it.
Of course the bigger question is: Will this bill pass? We sure hope so, but we’re not going to hold our breath in the short term. We are all too aware of the lobbying power of the Personal Care Products Council, the industry’s trade group. These changes would not be in their best interest—since they would likely require expensive reformulations—and they’re already claiming that the act is not based on “established scientific principles.”
One thing is for sure: This is going to get interesting. For more insight read Bryan Walsh’s great post about it on the TIME blog.