From AOL News:
Most Americans use about 10 personal care products each day. The toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, baby powder and other things that we routinely douse or slather on our bodies expose us to at least 100 different chemicals. Many of these, public health experts say, have been linked to adverse health effects like cancer, birth defects and learning disabilities.
Under the current absence of oversight, it’s legal for cosmetics companies to use virtually any ingredient with no pre-market safety assessment.
But that may begin to change as two Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Jan Schakowsky from Illinois and Edward Markey from Massachusetts — introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 today. If passed, it will be the first meaningful effort to give the FDA the teeth, tools and mandate to protect consumers from harmful products that are used by almost everyone.
Some of what the legislation calls for includes:
•Ingredients linked to cancer and birth defects being phased out of personal care products.
•Health-based safety standards for all ingredients in cosmetics that includes protections for children and other vulnerable populations.
•Required listing on product labels of all chemical ingredients in personal care products, including fragrances and contaminants.
•Worker access to information about hazardous chemicals they may encounter in the manufacturing of personal care products.
•Adequate funding and support of the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors to pay for this oversight of the cosmetics industry.
In 1938, Congress passed the Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Its provisions required new products to be shown safe before marketing. That pretty much never happened with cosmetics.
“This legislation would create a system that people think already exists — one that requires companies to assess chemicals for safety and disclose all the ingredients in their products,” Stacy Malkan, co-founder of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, told AOL News.
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