FRANCISCO—The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics announced today that more
than 500 cosmetics and body care products companies have promised to
eliminate toxic ingredients from their products worldwide.
By signing the Compact for Safe Cosmetics,
companies pledge to replace ingredients linked to cancer, birth
defects, hormone disruption and other negative health effects with
safer alternatives within three years.
Major concerns regarding the safety of
personal care products led the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2004 to
create the Compact, formally known as the “Compact for the Global
Production of Safe Health and Beauty Products.” The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration does not review or regulate cosmetics products or
ingredients for safety before they are sold to the public and has no
legal authority to require safety assessments of cosmetics.
“The companies that have signed the Compact
for Safe Cosmetics are really leading the way toward safer products and
healthier people,” said Cindy Luppi, organizing director for Clean
Water Action in Boston and one of the founding members of the Campaign
for Safe Cosmetics. “We’re moving in the right direction, but
ultimately the FDA needs to step up and take responsibility for public
In the absence of federal oversight, states
also have taken steps to ensure that consumers have access to safer
products and more information about the products they buy. On January
1, California became the first in the nation to enact state legislation
governing the safety and reporting of cosmetic ingredients. The
California Safe Cosmetics Act requires manufacturers to disclose to the
state any product ingredient that is on state or federal lists of
chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. Washington and Oregon are
introducing similar legislation, and both New York and Maryland
introduced bills last year.
Recent signers of the Compact for Safe
Cosmetics include Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher's new company,
Intelligent Nutrients; and celebrity aesthetician brands Crush Groove
Cosmetics, a make-up line, and Mi Amore Skincare.
Compact signers include big names like The
Body Shop and Burt’s Bees, as well as smaller and niche manufacturers.
The names of all signing companies can be found by visiting www.safecosmetics.org/companies/signers.cfm.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a
coalition of U.S.-based health and environmental groups working to
protect cosmetics consumers from toxic chemicals and hold companies
accountable for the safety of their products.
The world’s largest cosmetics companies,
including as L'Oréal, Revlon, Estée Lauder, Gap, Avon, OPI and Proctor
& Gamble have refused to sign the Compact, which requires that
manufacturers meet several criteria, including:
Meeting EU standards banning chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects globally;
Conducting an inventory of all ingredients to determine whether
they use chemicals that pose health hazards including cancer, hormone
disruption, genetic mutation, reproductive toxicity, developmental harm
Implementing substitution plans that replace chemicals of concern with safer alternatives; and
Reporting on their progress in meeting these goals to the public.
Women and girls use an average of 12
personal care products daily, according to a 2004 survey conducted by
the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. One out of every 100 personal care
products on the market contains known or probable carcinogens and only
11 percent of the more than 10,500 ingredients in products have been
assessed for safety, according to Skin Deep, an online, brand-by-brand
safety guide that contains in-depth information on more than 14,000
products and their ingredients by the Environmental Working Group.
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