Bill Memo: Skin Deep Disclosure
This bill amends the environmental conservation law by adding a new Title XI, personal care and cosmetics, requiring disclosure of product ingredients, and a ban of certain restricted substances (such as lead, mercury, formaldehyde, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances phthalates, and parabens) from sale three years after the effective date.
Thousands of chemical ingredients are lurking in our personal care products, such as shampoos, lotions, makeup, sprays, creams, and the list goes on and on. These products are known to include toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and even lead and mercury, many linked to cancer, damage to the reproductive system, disruption to the endocrine system, and allergies. Consumers deserve the right to know what they are putting on their bodies and deserve not to be exposed to toxic chemicals while showering or bathing. This legislation is an important step that mandates the disclosure of ingredients on personal care products and bans a nasty list of chemicals from distribution and sale.
Our skin is our largest organ, and what we put on it is absorbed into the bloodstream. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average person uses nine personal care products daily, exposing themselves to about 126 different chemical ingredients. These chemical ingredients often bioaccumulate in our body tissue, which is why even small prolonged exposures can lead to serious health impacts. In addition, we use these products on children, putting our most sensitive receptors at the greatest risk.
Over 40 countries in the world have stronger labeling requirements for personal care products than the United States. The federal process is inadequate to give consumers the information they need to make informed decisions about what they put on their bodies. Personal care products do not go through any health studies or pre-market testing, allowing the product industry to develop their own formulas with some of the most dangerous chemicals as ingredients.
By requiring the disclosure of ingredients in personal care products, consumers can make more informed choices about the products they use on their bodies and feel confident they are not exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 64