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Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 introduced in Congress

Mia Davis, Campaign for Safe CosmeticsAll of our hard work is paying off! The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families supporters have been building the momentum for safe, nontoxic products, and elected leaders responded last week by reintroducing the federal Safe Cosmetics Act in the House of Representatives!

The Safe Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2359) will give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority it needs to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful substances like lead, reproductive toxins, and cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde. The existing law, which has not been updated in 70 years, allows cosmetics companies to use these and other toxic chemicals in products that we use on our bodies every day, including hand soap, lotion, baby shampoo, lipstick and cologne.

We know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Many of the large cosmetics companies that are selling toxic products here in the US are actually making safer versions of those products in the EU- and the products there are still effective, and companies are still making a nice profit. The oft repeated cosmetics industry response “it’s just a little bit of the toxic chemical, don’t worry,” doesn’t hold up in the EU, and it isn’t holding up with Americans anymore either. Fortunately, there are many US companies that have committed to making safer cosmetics here. Clearly, US families and companies deserve better than the outdated and ineffective law currently on the books, and for the US to remain a leader in the global marketplace, we simply need to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act.

…there is no reason that we should accept the industry line “just a little bit of carcinogen in bubble bath is OK.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ efforts to push the FDA to regulate cosmetics are closely tied to the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition’s efforts to limit toxic chemicals in every day products that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – things like baby bottles and mattresses. If we’re going to have a truly healthy environment, society and economy, we need both the FDA and the EPA to be empowered to regulate chemicals. That’s why the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition joined together to collect signatures on a petition to the Obama Administration, asking that cancer prevention to be a major focus of the country’s cancer policy. Just last month members of the two coalitions met at the White House to drop off all 73,000 signatures! It is amazing and empowering to know that we will prevent some cancers when we get chemicals linked to the disease out of consumer products and manufacturing.

So you see, there is no reason that we should accept the industry line “just a little bit of carcinogen in the bubble bath is OK.” Please urge your House members to co-sponsor the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 right away. Here’s how:

  1. Email them using this form.
  2. Call them. Use the Legislator Lookup, dial the number for your federal Representative (we’re not contacting Senators yet since this bill was introduced in the House), and use the email text as a guide for your message to the staff person who answers the phone. Calls take only a minute, but they are really important!
  3. Visit them. You have the right to meet with your Representative (or his or her staffers) to tell them that you want to safe cosmetics. Please see our Legislative Toolkit to learn more.

Please take action and please spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, and the old fashioned way- in person.

Thanks for all you do to make cosmetics and other everyday products safe for all of us, and for future generations.

Mia Davis, Organizing Director
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics