Safer Beauty Bill Package Targets PFAS – The National Law Review

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A group of Democratic representatives led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) have introduced a “Safer Beauty” bill package that would ban certain chemicals in cosmetics and require more ingredient transparency in the supply chain.  The Safer Beauty bill package is comprised of four separate bills targeting certain “chemicals of concern” commonly used in cosmetics—including PFAS, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Below, we briefly summarize the core provisions of each bill and offer three key takeaways for cosmetics manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers.

The Toxic-Free Beauty Act of 2021

The Toxic-Free Beauty Act of 2021 (HR 5537) would ban the following chemicals in all beauty and personal care products (consumer and professional):

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

  • Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)

  • Formaldehyde

  • Paraformaldehyde

  • Methylene glycol

  • Quaternium-15

  • Mercury

  • Isobutylparaben

  • Isopropylparaben

  • m-Phenylenediamine and its salts

  • o-Phenylenediamine and its salts

  • All perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

The Toxic-Free Beauty Act of 2021 is modeled after nearly identical legislation recently enacted in California (September 2020) and Maryland (June 2021).

Three of these chemicals (DBP, DEHP, and formaldehyde) are also currently undergoing risk evaluation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Moreover, PFAS remain a focal point of EPA’s regulatory agenda.  While EPA’s regulatory efforts are unlikely to affect cosmetics directly —the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally has the exclusive authority to regulate cosmetics—EPA’s attention to these chemicals may fuel support for the Toxic-Free Beauty Act and the other bills in the Safer Beauty package.

The Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Right to Know Act of 2021

The Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Right to Know Act of 2021 (HR 5538), which is largely based on California’s substantially similar and recently enacted law (September 2020), would require manufacturers to disclose the following:

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