The measure, which is being promoted by the Washington legislature, includes a ban on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in cosmetics. These chemicals are often used to make cosmetics – such as mascara, foundation and lipstick – waterproof and durable.
In large quantities, chemicals can also raise cholesterol, interfere with immune responses, cause pregnancy complications and increase the risk of certain cancers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Senate Bill 5703 From January 1, 2025 in the state of Washington will be banned the sale and distribution of cosmetics with the addition of PFAS. The measure also bans the addition of other chemicals, including formaldehyde and mercury, to cosmetics, while setting limits on the amount of lead in beauty products.
The proposal came four years after state lawmakers voted to stop selling and distributing fire-fighting foam that includes PFAS, and voted to limit the use of PFAS in food packaging.
Although these bans are being introduced gradually and have some exceptions, the senator of Mona Das State, D-Kent, said there was no reason for the same chemicals to be allowed to be added to cosmetics.
“We have already banned it in our state for firefighters. Why don’t we ban it for 50% of our population? ” – said Das, the main sponsor of SB 5703.
“It’s a banned chemical, it’s a known carcinogen – and here we are putting it on women’s faces,” she said.
The bill was passed by the state Senate in a vote on February 26-21, 14. It is now before the state House of Representatives.
Dasa’s proposal is similar to a measure taken in Californiawhich, starting in 2025, will ban certain chemicals from cosmetics, including 13 specific types of PFAS.
However, the Washington measure will go further by banning the entire class of PFAS supplements, not just some of them.
Part of the concern about PFAS and other chemicals in cosmetics are compounds that get into water systems and accumulate in the soil, said Heather Trim, CEO of Zero Waste Washington.
These chemicals are “forever – they don’t degrade,” Trim said during a January 12 public hearing on the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy and Technology.
“When people bathe, take a shower, wash their hands, all those chemicals are washed away,” Trim said. Even after undergoing treatment, PFAS can enter directly into water bodies as well as fall into compost, Trim said.
According to the State Department of Ecology, PFAS have been found in groundwater in Washington, D.C., as well as in osprey eggs and in fish.
“Any toxic or other dangerous effects of these chemicals will be with us for decades,” – the environmental service. wrote in last year’s report.
Recent a peer-reviewed study that examined breast milk from 50 women from the Seattle area also found traces of PFAS in all 50 breast milk samples.
“It’s very worrying that we have chemicals that we pass on to our vulnerable babies,” said Lori Valerian, executive director of the nonprofit Toxic-Free Future in Seattle, whose researchers worked on the study with researchers at the University of Washington. .
But companies that make shampoos, makeup and other cosmetic products have expressed concern that Washington State may adopt regulations that are not in line with those in other states and countries.
The European Union has several steps have already been taken to regulate PFAS in cosmetics as well as in other products. Maryland lawmakers have passed the law banning chemicals in cosmetics last year, which was developed in accordance with European regulations as well as California.
Nora Palatao Burns, a lobbyist for the Personal Care Products Council, told lawmakers at a Jan. 12 hearing that the organization wants to avoid creating many different rules. The board represents more than 600 companies that produce cosmetics and products such as lotions, shampoos and perfumes.
“Global regulatory compliance is good news for consumers who don’t have to worry about having these ingredients, and good news for producers who will benefit from cohesion,” Burns said during the hearing.
SB 5703 was later amended to remove some chemicals from the proposed ban list.
Although the Personal Hygiene Products Council declined to comment on changes to the bill, the amendments address some of the concerns expressed early by the Washington Business Association. The business lobby group is neutral about this proposal, which means that it no longer actively opposes it, but also does not urge lawmakers to accept it.
State Sen. Shelley Short, leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, said she would like there to be no longer discussion of which chemicals will be banned and how common they are in cosmetics. Republicans, who are a minority in both houses of the Legislative Council, opposed the measure when it was put to a vote in the Senate.
“We still don’t know where these products are and how many of them are there, and I think the necessary step would be to know this before regulating it,” Short, R-Addy, said during her festival. Speech 14 floor.
A peer-reviewed study published last year in Journal of Environmental Science & Technology analyzed 231 cosmetic products and found signs of PFAS in 63% of foundations, 55% of lip products and 47% of mascara. However, some of these products have been labeled as containing PFAS.
Much of SB 5703 will focus on the disproportionate effects of chemical additives in cosmetics on colored women. The latter This was reported by Nielsen found that black women spend much more money than their white counterparts on cosmetics and personal care products.
Ami Zota, an associate professor of environmental protection and occupational health at George Washington University, said black women not only use more types of personal care products, but also “the products sold for them contain more toxic chemicals.”
“Compared to white women, colored women have higher levels of environmental chemicals associated with cosmetics in their bodies, and these differences are not explained by differences in income,” Zota said at a January 12 public hearing on SB 5703.
SB 5703 requires the State Department of Ecology to inspect cosmetic products sold to colored women to determine any harmful chemicals contained in those products. The department will then need to set up an outreach program to help alert women to the presence of these chemicals, with a focus on culturally relevant education and advocacy with racial minorities.
It is expected that this work, as well as the discovery of new types of chemicals that require regulation, will cost about $ 600,000-700,000 per year.
Dasa’s proposal is scheduled for a public hearing on February 22 in the House Committee on Energy and the Environment. Committee Chairman Joe Fitzgibbon, D-West Seattle, said he hoped to pass the bill from the committee by the key legislative deadline – February 24.
The full House of Representatives will have to approve the measure before it enters Governor Jay Insley’s table and becomes law.
Lawmakers are due to conclude the 2022 session on March 10th.
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