new safe cosmetics bill denounced as "trojan horse"
The Cosmetic Safety Amendments Act (HR 4395) introduced this April in the U.S. House sounds like long-overdue progress on reforming this country's failed "industry self-regulation" system for personal care products. But the measure drew immediate criticism from Clean Water Action and the Safe Cosmetics Campaign.
"This bill is a Trojan horse - it may sound nice on the outside but the dirty details inside would lock in the failed status quo," according to the Campaign's Lisa Archer. That outdated and ineffective system has resulted in public health scandals including mercury in face creams, carcinogens in baby shampoo, toxic lipstick and nail polish, and more. Written by the industry's trade association, HR 4395 would:
Clean Water Action and allies instead support passage of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (HR 2359). Key provisions include:
All are conspicuously absent from the industry-backed HR 4395. "Cosmetics safety legislation is not worth the paper it's printed on if it fails to phase out the most dangerous chemicals in cosmetics, especially those linked to cancer or reproductive harm," says Clean Water ActionÕs Cindy Luppi.
U.S. Senate Takes Up Safer Chemicals
A new bill to put common-sense limits on toxic chemicals could face its first test in the U.S. Senate this spring. The Safe Chemicals Act (S 847), introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) with sixteen Senate cosponsors, may soon be voted on by the powerful Environment and Public Works committee and could move from there to the Senate floor. Clean Water Action and the national Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition support the measure and are working simultaneously to advance health-protective chemical reforms through proposals being considered in twenty-eight states.
The Safe Chemicals Act would:
Key provisions to advance these aims include:
Proof of safety: To bring new chemicals into the marketplace or keep using existing ones, industry must for the first time develop and provide information on their chemicalsÕ safety and health impacts. Chemicals without this information would be prohibited in products and workplaces. Where data indicates potential environmental health concerns, chemicals must be proven safe before entering commerce.
Immediate action on the worst chemicals: EPA action is required to reduce exposure to toxics chemicals that do not degrade in the environment and are concentrated as they move up the food chain, such as lead, mercury, flame retardants and other toxics that build up in peopleÕs bodies.
Given the U.S. House's anti-environment fervor, passage there is unlikely in the near term, but a strong showing in the Senate would help set the stage for later success. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative about safer chemicals.