Bill Memo: PFAS in Personal Care Products

2 Tree: Substantial benefit rating

Summary

This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit the distribution and sale of any cosmetic product and personal care product containing PFAS substances. This bill takes effect on June 1, 2023. 

Explanation

This legislation bans the use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetics and personal care products.  

PFAS substances are ubiquitous in our homes and environment – used in a variety of products from clothing, furniture, cookware, carpets, food packaging, and, even in cosmetics and personal care products.  

They are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down and have been found to accumulate in the human body and the environment. The dangers that PFAS chemicals pose to human health is well-known. According to the EPA, exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the most studied PFAS chemicals, has been linked to high rates of thyroid disease, immune suppression, and reduced fertility. 

A peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters tested for PFAS in 231 makeup and personal care product samples—including lipstick, lip balm, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, concealer, blush, and nail polish—and detected what the researchers characterized as “high” levels of organic fluorine, a key element in PFAS, in over half of the products.  

These harmful compounds have no place in products we apply to our bodies. PFAS compounds can be absorbed easily through the skin, through tear ducts, or ingested. Lipstick, for example, can be ingested easily since it is worn on your mouth. 

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 25