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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Reintroduces Legislation To Ban Hazardous Chemicals from Beauty and Personal Care Products

  • Toxic Free Beauty Act

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) reintroduced the Toxic-Free Beauty Act, H.R. 3619, which prohibits the use of certain hazardous chemicals from personal and professional care, beauty, and salon products sold in the United States. 

Some of the chemicals used to create personal and professional care, beauty, and salon products have been linked to serious harm to human health and the environment, but to date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only banned or restricted eleven chemicals.  Through the Toxic-Free Beauty Act, products containing certain toxic chemicals would be officially considered harmful for consumers by the FDA and result in enforcement against these products, effectively banning the chemicals from use.

“Many people assume that the personal care and beauty items they use are safe, but with minimal oversight, many of the care, beauty, and salon products sold across the country actually contain toxic chemicals,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “I’m glad to partner with Congresswoman Schakowsky to reintroduce the Toxic-Free Beauty Act to protect the health and safety of people across the country by banning chemicals known to cause significant harm in beauty products.” 

“Safe, accessible beauty cannot wait. After more than 80 years of inaction, the United States finally updated its cosmetics laws last year. President Biden was able to sign into law the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act, which now gives authority to the Food and Drug Administration to recall beauty and personal care products that are harming human health. While this was an important first step, our work is not done,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “I am proud to reintroduce the Safer Beauty Bill Package with my colleagues, Reps. Lizzie Fletcher, Doris Matsui, and Lisa Blunt Rochester, which would protect consumers from toxic chemicals linked to hormone disruption, cancer and other health problems; require full ingredient transparency, including closing the fragrance and flavor loophole, for consumers and brand owners; and protect the health of women of color and salon workers, who are among the most highly exposed to toxic chemicals because of the products marketed to them or commonly found in their workplaces. We must pass the Safer Beauty Bill Package now!”

If enacted, the Toxic-Free Beauty Act would ban the use of the following chemicals in personal and professional beauty, care, and salon products sold in the U.S.:

  • Dibutyl phthalate and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate: two phthalates found in nail polish and fragrance that are linked to birth defects, breast cancer, and endocrine disruption; 
  • Formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, and methylene glycol: three different kinds of formaldehyde found in hair straightening and smoothing products that are linked to cancer, skin irritation, and respiratory harm;
  • Quaterniun-15: a formaldehyde-releasing preservative found in body wash, makeup, hair products, and baby shampoo that are linked to cancer, skin irritation, and respiratory harm; 
  • Isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben: parabens found in sunscreens, lotions, eye liner, blush, and hair products that are linked to breast cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption; 
  • M-Phenylenediamine and o-Phenylenediamine: chemicals used in hair dye and linked to skin sensitization, cancer, mutagenicity, and organ system toxicity; and
  • Mercury: although banned in the U.S except as a preservative in products around the eyes, mercury can still be found in skin lightening creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions, and it can negatively impact the brain and nervous system. 

Congresswoman Fletcher and Congresswoman Schakowsky first introduced the Toxic Free Beauty Act in the 117th Congress.  

To view full text of the bill, click here.