The Endocrine Society praised the reintroduction of a Senate bill to ensure consumers are protected from hazards associated with exposure to chemicals in personal care products such as cosmetics and lotions.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, would set a rigorous safety standard for personal care products and provide the public with more information about the chemicals in the products they are purchasing. This is an area of concern for the Society and its 18,000 members, including researchers studying how endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) disrupt the body’s hormones.
“From shampoo to lotion, the use of personal care products is widespread, however, there are very few protections in place to ensure their safety,” Feinstein says in a previous statement. “Europe has a robust system, which includes consumer protections like product registration and ingredient reviews. I am pleased to be introducing this bipartisan legislation with Senator Collins that will require FDA to review chemicals used in these products and provide clear guidance on their safety. In addition, the legislation has broad support from companies and consumer groups alike.”
An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.
The evidence is more definitive than ever before that EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health. EDC-related health outcomes include male reproductive disorders, premature death, obesity and diabetes, neurological impacts, breast cancer, endometriosis, female reproductive disorders, immune disorders, liver cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, and thyroid disorders.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act calls for some chemicals found in shampoo, deodorant, cosmetics, and other personal care products to be reviewed for safety for the first time. The Society applauded the bill’s inclusion of propyl paraben, a potential EDC linked to reproductive disorders, as one of the first five chemicals slated for review.
- Develop and implement cosmetic manufacturing standards that are consistent with existing national and international standards;
- Be allowed to inspect a company’s cosmetic safety records;
- Recall a cosmetic that is likely to cause serious adverse health consequences; and
- Encourage cosmetic safety testing practices that minimize the use of animals.
By providing the necessary authority and fees for the FDA to properly regulate personal care products, the Society believes that this legislation will effectively and efficiently ensure a safer marketplace for personal care products and reduce harms from exposure to EDCs and other toxic chemicals.
For more information on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, visit www.endocrine.org/topics/edc.