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Governor Newsom signs AB 2762, banning toxic chemicals in cosmetics

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:37:59-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday banning 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics, making California the first in the nation to stop the use of these hazardous ingredients.

He also signed legislation requiring companies to disclose harmful ingredients in beauty and personal care products.

"Every day, Californians are exposed to hazardous chemicals hiding in their cosmetics and personal care products. Children, communities of color and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to these ingredients, which are not actively regulated by the federal government," said Governor Newsom. "California is leading the nation by banning toxic ingredients from our cosmetics. This legislation will save lives and keep Californians and our environment safe."

AB 2762 by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) prohibits 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics in California starting in 2025, all of which are also banned by the European Union.

The presence of unknown, unlabeled toxicants in cosmetics puts Californians at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals that can cause harmful chronic health concerns.

While all Californians are at risk of exposure, some populations are especially vulnerable, including children, communities of color and pregnant women. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) showed that black women who frequently dye their hair face a 60 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

"Toxic chemicals have no place in products that are marketed for our faces and our bodies," said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. "I am proud of California for this landmark legislation to protect California families, in particular women and children, whose health has been most impacted by these harmful products."

This legislation will also protect professional salon workers who are disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace. Hairdressers and beauticians have a 47-fold higher risk of fragrance skin allergies than people in other occupations.

"This landmark bill will ban cosmetics in California that contain 24 toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and hormone disruption," said Assembly member Muratsuchi. "The science is clear on the harmful nature of these chemicals and AB 2762 will provide Californians with the same consumer protections already provided in the European Union. I thank Governor Newsom for his support and the bill cosponsors for their leadership and hard work to get this bill signed into law."

SB 312 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) requires companies selling beauty or personal care products in California to report the presence of hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients in their products to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Safe Cosmetics Program, which would then make this information publicly available through their Safe Cosmetics Database.

Since 2009, 613 cosmetics companies have reported to the Safe Cosmetics Program the sale of over 75,000 beauty and personal care products in California containing chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. Numerous tests have confirmed that lead and asbestos frequently contaminate certain cosmetics.

"I thank Governor Newsom for signing SB 312 which will ensure that consumers in California know what ingredients are in the beauty and personal care products they bring home to their families and use on their bodies. This first-in-the-nation legislation empowers consumers and underscores the belief that no toxic ingredients should be kept secret. I thank the large committed coalition of non-profits, health and environmental organizations, businesses and other groups that stood alongside me in this fight to improve ingredient transparency and protect Californians across our state," said Senator Leyva.