Demand Stronger Cosmetics Regulations to Protect Our Health

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As the Senate considers changing the weak laws that regulate personal care products, they need to hear from you.

At Breast Cancer Action, we believe that meaningful, public health-focused legislation should include:

  1. A strong safety standard that is based on the precautionary principle, which would demand that products are proven safe before they enter the marketplace – rather than after they are already in our homes and our bodies. This would include:
    • Strengthening protections for vulnerable communities such as pregnant women, infants, workers, communities of color, etc.
    • Requiring a stricter stand on allowable chemicals; not allowing chemicals to be assumed innocent but would need to be proven safe.
    • Requiring pre-market safety testing that allows the FDA to review and regulate what goes into cosmetics before they reach store shelves.
  2. Providing resources the FDA needs to ensure effective oversight of the cosmetics industry. Key aspects would include:
    • Mandatory recall authority to get unsafe products off the shelves.
    • Realistic implementation schedule that requires compliance and gives the FDA necessary incentives and resources to implement changes necessitated by the new law.
    •  Financial resources it needs to provide proper oversight and enforcement.
    • Post market adverse events tracking requiring cosmetic manufacturers, packagers, or distributors to report any information they receive concerning serious adverse health effects associated from the use of their cosmetics.
  3. Closing labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and company websites, regardless of trade secret claims including professional salon products and online.
    • The FDA should have access to all the ingredients in cosmetics in order to effectively regulate their safety. Fragrance trade secrets, unintended by-products and ingredient contaminants should not be exempt from these disclosure laws.

Contact your Senator today and tell them you want stronger regulation of personal care products!

To learn more about this issue:

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Support Strong Regulation of Toxic Chemicals

You can help reduce exposures to toxic chemicals in our daily lives and create a healthier world for all of us by taking action:

Ask your Senators to support strong toxic chemical regulation, which would help stop cancer before it starts. Take action today by telling your Senators that strong chemical regulation must address:

  • Burden of Proof: the burden of proof for chemical safety must be placed squarely on the shoulders of industry rather than on the EPA having to prove they are toxic.
  • Precautionary Principle: a strong chemical safety bill must require that products are proven safe before they enter the marketplace – rather than after they are already in our homes and our bodies.
  • Expedited Action on the Worst Chemicals: existing chemical regulation requires unnecessary red tape before the EPA can phase out a chemical identified as dangerous. Instead of creating obstacles for regulators to protect the public, strong chemical reform must allow for expedited action for the worst chemicals.
  • Protection for Heavily Impacted Communities: central to any proposed chemical regulation must be a special focus to reduce toxic chemicals in “hot spot” communities heavily impacted by chemical exposures.
  • Allowance for Stronger Laws: federal chemical regulation should not be allowed to override state or regional laws that protect people from toxic chemicals.
  • Establish Deadlines and Timetables: this should go without saying, but chemical regulation should have a realistic implementation schedule that requires compliance and gives the EPA the necessary incentives and resources to implement changes necessitated by the new law.

For more information

Industry Friendly Chemical “Reform” Bill Moving Forward in Congress (March 2015)

Chemical Reform Update – the Senate is Finally Listening, but They Need to Act (July 2013)

Important Update About Regulation of Toxic Chemicals (June 2013)

Chemical Safety Improvement Act Doesn’t Go Nearly Far Enough (May 2013)

Breast Cancer Action is a part of the national Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition, working to create federal policy that will help stop breast cancer before it starts through stronger regulation of toxins linked to breast cancer.