California moves to ban harmful ingredients in cosmetics

Citing health concerns, California’s legislature is considering a bill that would ban the sale of all cosmetics in the state containing certain ingredients.

The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 495, would amend the state’s Health and Safety Code. Building off of the existing Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law—which “prohibits the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding or offer for sale of adulterated cosmetics”—the new bill would go further and define adulterated cosmetics as those that contain asbestos, lead or the following ingredients:

  • Dibutyl phthalate;
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate;
  • Formaldehyde;
  • Formaldehyde releasers;
  • Mercury and related compounds;
  • Isobutyl­paraben;
  • Isopropy­lparaben;
  • Butylparaben;
  • Propylparaben;
  • Toluene;
  • Triclosan;
  • Carbon black; and
  • Per- and Polyfluo­roalkyl substances (PFAS).

Most of us, including me, use cosmetics on a daily basis. Some still contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. AB 495 will protect consumers so that we can continue to use our favorite products without worrying about what’s in our mascara.