The state of California, lead by governor Gavin Newsom, has signed into law two important pieces of legislature: the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act (SB312) and the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act (AB2762).
The Toxic Free Cosmetics Act (AB2762)
The Toxic Free Cosmetics Act will ban the use of 24 toxic ingredients from cosmetics and personal care products.
This list includes ingredients like mercury (which can cause birth defects and is a known carcinogen), two pthalates (Dibutyl phthalate & Diethylhexyl phthalate, linked to reproductive toxicity), two commonly used parabens (Isobutylparaben & Isopropylparaben, hormone disruptors), 4 types of formeldahyde (human carcinogens), 2 carcinogenic hair dye chemicals, and 13 "forever" PFAS chemicals linked to human health effects and environmental toxicity.
All 24 ingredients banned under these new laws were already prohibited in the European Union, which has historically been far more proactive in banning toxic ingredients from cosmetics and personal care products.
“Formaldehyde in bubble bath? Mercury in skin lightening creams? Congress has been asleep at the wheel for 82 years when it comes to cosmetic safety, which is why we so appreciate the important leadership Gov. Newsom took today when he signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act into law. Given that the majority of the chemicals banned by the bill are linked to breast cancer, this historic bill also takes us one step closer to preventing this devastating disease by removing a major source of women’s ongoing exposure to some of the most toxic substances on the planet.”Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and one of the bill's sponsors
At Better Goods, we already give Iffy or Bad ratings to products that contain these ingredients, but this is an excellent and important step in the direction of cleaner beauty and safer personal care products.
The Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act (SB312)
The Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act is an excellent step in forcing manufacturers to be transparent in their labeling.
Under US law, companies are legally allowed to hide the chemical makeup of their fragrances under the umbrella term of "fragrance", "parfum" or "aroma."
Starting January 1, 2022, SB312 will require companies that sell products in California to disclose the secret fragrance ingredients which are toxic to humans and the environment.
Currently, this list encompasses 26 scientifically-recognized fragrance ingredients that include allergens, carcinogens, reproductive toxins, hormone disruptors and pollutants.
Both Bills Are a Huge Step In The Right Direction
For too long companies have been getting away with hiding the ingredients in their fragrances, and bills like the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act are a huge step toward more transparent product labeling.
We have a long way to go in terms of protecting consumers from harmful ingredients, but the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act is a step in the right direction.
With enough time, pressure and voicing our concerns, we're slowly moving toward a world with safer and more transparent ingredients in our products.