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Published May 15, 2023 / As part of 2023 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act becomes law in Washington State

Washington State Representative Rep. Sharlett Mena (D-Tacoma):

“You shouldn’t have to be a toxicologist to shop for personal care products. When products are on the shelf, we assume they are safe to use, but this is not always the case. In fact, Ecology found that many cosmetics contain toxic chemicals and that those with the highest concentrations are often marketed to women of color. We regulate the use of toxics in other products, but the law allowed products that we apply to our bodies to use harmful chemicals. With this new law, we will no longer allow these harmful chemicals to be added to personal care products and sold to unsuspecting people.” 

Laurie Valeriano, executive director, Toxic-Free Future:

“Today we celebrate a big win for public health,” said Laurie Valeriano, executive director, Toxic-Free Future. “Products we put on our bodies should only be made with the safest ingredients. Thanks to the leadership by our state legislature and Governor, cosmetics will be free of known harmful chemicals like PFAS, lead and formaldehyde and the transition to safer cosmetics and personal care products will be supported. The entire nation will benefit from a cleaner supply chain and information on safer alternatives.”

Yuwa Vosper, WE ACT for Environmental Justice:

“Personal care products are largely unregulated, and many of the items you use every day contain toxic chemicals. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, infertility, miscarriage, poor infant and maternal health outcomes, birth defects, learning disabilities, obesity, asthma, and other serious health issues. Everyone is at risk, but women of color face the greatest threat from the products that are marketed to them,” explained Yuwa Vosper, WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s Policy & Regulatory Manager. “We thank Governor Inslee for signing the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which will ban some of the most harmful chemicals in personal care products, including PFAS, phthalates, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde releasing agents.” 

Merideth Pedack, cosmetologist for 28 years:

“This is a huge step in the right direction for making professional products safer for beauty industry professionals, as well as safer personal care products at the consumer level. This bill starts to hold the beauty and personal care products industry accountable for the dangerous chemicals that have been put into products for many years and is a critical step forward and I applaud the Governor & Legislature for adopting this measure.” 

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Research Institute:

“This bill will help ensure that young children and adolescents can use common cosmetics without enduring harmful environmental exposures. This is important because these children are still growing and developing, and exposures at this age can have lasting impacts into the future.” 

Jen Lee, Chief Impact Officer, Beautycounter:

“At Beautycounter we are on a mission to protect the safety of consumers and we were proud to partner with Toxic-Free Future to help get Washington’s Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act across the finish line,” said Jen Lee, Chief Impact Officer at Beautycounter. “We are inspired by this milestone and our community’s advocacy work to get safer products into the hands of everyone.”

Dr. Ami Zota, tenured Associate Professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health:

“This bill will help secure environmental justice and improve the health of girls and women of color across the state.”

AC Churchill, Executive Director, Earth Ministry:

“Faith communities across Washington have long been deeply invested in caring for our neighbors by advocating for commonsense and moral toxic chemical reforms. HB 1047 builds upon a foundation that caring for our neighbors means banning toxin-laced cosmetics and personal care products specifically marketed to communities of color, reaffirms access to poison-free products is a human right, and is an important step in eliminating the cycle of chemicals entering our waterways.”

Sarah Doll, national director of Safer States:

“This law shows that states have a key role to play – they are in a position to be part of the solution as well as to fill the gaps that the federal government has left when it comes to toxic-free beauty products. State laws like these are a giant step forward for safer cosmetics nationwide.”

Mike Schade, director of Mind the Store, a program of Toxic-Free Future:

“This common-sense law plays an important role in supporting a growing trend in the retail sector to restrict dangerous chemicals in cosmetics. It also levels the playing field and ensures companies are making safer products.”