Some hopeful news for American health and beauty product consumers just came about last month. Two senators – both female – introduced the new Personal Care Products Safety Act.
According to this long overdue proposed amendment (really, the first initiated since the 1930s), the FDA would have a say in regulating what chemicals are included in the personal care products we apply to our bodies. The 98-page bill includes a requirement that the FDA review five common personal care and beauty product chemicals per year to evaluate their safety. The senators consulted with the Environmental Working Group to establish an initial list of chemicals to be reviewed. Many of you may be familiar with the organization’s Skin Deep database that shows us what personal care and beauty products contain what harmful chemicals.
There is currently little known about the ingredients in commonly used health and beauty products in the nation. But according to Environmental Working Group, American women put an average of 168 chemicals commonly found in 12 types of products on their bodies daily. The statistics are even higher for teenagers, who on average use 17 personal care products per day.
While some chemicals could be safe to use, there has been no regulation in place for us to know for sure. Look at the ingredient lists on popular and/or incredibly advertised brand-name body moisturizers, shampoos, body washes, foundation makeup and other cosmetic products, and you’ll be in for some heavy reading. It’s more than a little disconcerting.
While the proposed bill is definitely a step in the right direction for consumer protection when it comes to the industry, the best we can do is the same as in any case when it concerns our health and well being, and that is to be responsible consumers. By researching products and the companies we buy from, as well as studies on chemicals in products, we can continually self educate and know what we’re putting on our bodies. Vote with your dollars, and purchase health and beauty products that are made with sustainable, organic ingredients.
Click here to read the proposed Personal Care Products Safety Act.