Legislation introduced to ban sale of cosmetics that contain toxic chemicals

Friday, March 22, 2019

Torrance, CA – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), along with Joint Author Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), introduced Assembly Bill 495, which would ban the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.  The bill would ban the sale of products containing toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, among others.  In addition, the bill expands the California Safe Cosmetics Program’s enforcement authority and requires the program to report cosmetics containing any one of the listed chemicals to the Attorney General.

“Californians deserve to know whether the cosmetic products they purchase in the state are not harmful to their health,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi. “While cosmetic products sold in the U.S. are largely unregulated, other nations — and even retailers — have proactively banned or restricted the use of hundreds or thousands of cosmetic ingredients. AB 495 will protect consumers by banning the sale in California of cosmetics containing known carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and endocrine disruptors that are harmful to human health.”

The full list of the “Toxic Twenty” chemicals that would be banned from use under the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, include:

  • Asbestos (a carcinogen).
  • Lead (a neurotoxin).
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate (a reproductive and developmental toxicant).
  • Formaldehyde (a carcinogen).
  • Formaldehyde releasers (seven carcinogenic chemicals).
  • Mercury and related compounds (neurotoxins).
  • Four parabens – isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben (reproductive and developmental toxicants and hormone disruptors).
  • Toluene (a reproductive and developmental toxicant).
  • Triclosan (a hormone disruptor).
  • Carbon black (a carcinogen).
  • Fluorinated PFAS compounds (carcinogens and developmental toxicants).

The California Safe Cosmetics Program was established in 2006. It requires major cosmetics manufacturers to provide notification whenever the company sells a cosmetics product that contains a reproductive toxicant or a carcinogen.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the Assistant Majority Leader for Policy and Research, represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Kerry Jacob, kerry.jacob@asm.ca.gov