Advocacy Update: Why Do We Need More Health Protective Laws?
We talk all the time about empowering yourself with knowledge to make safer choices in the products you are using, but do you know why? It helped me to really grasp the idea when I started to understand where we were on a government level with personal care product safety.
The last time a major federal law was passed regulating the ingredients in our personal care products was 1938 with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (80+ years?!)
The European Union has banned 1400 ingredients and the United States has banned 30 ingredients to date.
Today, it is legal for companies to use ingredients that have been linked to cancer, infertility, hormone disruption and other illnesses in their personal care products.
Who is in charge of regulation? Technically the FDA but…
There are roughly two pages regulating the entire $64 billion industry.
The FDA does not have the power to recall a product if it is proven to be harmful.
Nearly 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce and only about 10% of them have been tested for safety.
The FDA does require that all ingredients be disclosed, except of course for that fragrance loophole.
There is no requirement to report any adverse affects from products. This is all voluntary.
Where are we today?
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bipartisan bill, Personal Care Product Safety Act, to address this lack of regulation in 2017.
The main thing this bill would do is give the FDA power to review the safety of five ingredients each year. Here are other things it could cover/require companies to do if the bill passed according to the EWG.
The Personal Care Product Safety Act is expected to be reintroduced into Senate early 2019.
Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is introducing his bill into the House in 2019. This bill covers a lot of similar regulation as the Personal Care Product Safety Act. It is expected to be the companion bill to Personal Care Product Safety Act which is on the Senate side.
What can you do? Text “betterbeauty” to 52886 to contact your local representatives and let them you know you care about more health protective laws. It only takes 20 calls or emails for an issue to be brought to the attention of a Member of Congress.