Newsom Signs Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, Banning Manufacture or Sale of Cosmetic Products Containing 24 Toxic Chemicals

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2762, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act which, starting in 2025, will prohibit the manufacture or sale of any cosmetic product in the State of California containing any of 24 specified toxic chemicals, consistent with a similar prohibition previously enacted by the European Union and other countries.

Al Muratsuchi

“This landmark bill will ban cosmetics in California that contain 24 toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and hormone disruption,” stated Assemblymember Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), lead author of AB 2762.  “The science is clear on the harmful nature of these chemicals. This bill will provide Californians with the same consumer protections already provided in the European Union, which has also banned these products.

“I would like to thank Gov. Newsom for his support, along with Assemblymembers Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), who jointly authored this important measure. Kudos to bill co-sponsors Environmental Working Group, Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) for their leadership and hard work to get this bill signed into law.”

“Here in California, we make decisions based on the best available science, and Gov. Newsom’s signing of this bill is the latest example of that leadership,” said Wicks. “This bill bans chemicals that harm human health, and the science is undisputed on this. Now, Californians — including myself —  won’t have to worry that the personal care products we use every day might be exposing our families to known carcinogens.”

“As a scientist, I care that decisions to ban chemicals are made using the best available science,” explained Quirk. “That’s why I insisted that we use European Union standards for determining how to set standards for California. In Europe, companies have to prove the substance is safe to add to, and keep on, the market. Since industry already meets the European standard, we know they can do it here.”

“This unprecedented bill is such a breakthrough!” said Susan Little, Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) senior advocate for California government affairs. “California is the first in the nation to ban these 24 ingredients, including 11 chemicals and 13 PFAS, from the personal care products people use every day. And as another first, EWG, other public health advocates, and the industry’s Personal Care Products Council agree that ingredients like formaldehyde and mercury have no place in cosmetics. AB 2762 is going to give consumers the healthier products that they are demanding and deserve.”

“Thank you Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, Buffy Wicks and Bill Quirk for authoring this important bill,” said Janet Nudelman, director of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “The majority of the chemicals banned by AB 2762 are linked to breast cancer. Given one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, AB 2762 takes us one step closer to preventing this devastating disease by removing a major source of women’s ongoing exposure to some of the most toxic substances on the planet.”

“Even though toxic chemicals impact us all, we know that women of color disproportionately are impacted by the chemicals in our beauty and personal care products. AB 2762 is a huge step forward to reducing the harmful impact of 24 ingredients on our communities,” said Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness. “We would like to thank Assemblymember Muratsuchi, Assemblymember Wicks and Assemblymember Quirk for their tireless energy pushing this issue to the finish line. All of our families are a little safer because of this landmark legislation.”

“Every day, Californians use soaps, shampoos, makeup and other personal care products without realizing that those products could contain chemicals that present serious health risks,” said Emily Rusch, CALPIRG executive director. “By banning some of the most toxic ingredients found in modern personal care products, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act will finally start to give consumers the protections they deserve. We applaud the authors for their hard work and dedication.”

These 24 toxic chemicals, including mercury, formaldehyde, and specified phthalates, parabens, and long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are known carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, endocrine disruptors, or autoimmune suppressants, making consumers susceptible to COVID-19, cancer, and reproductive harm. The EU has previously banned these chemicals, and most of them are also on California’s Proposition 65 list of toxic chemicals.

While cosmetic products sold in California and the U.S. lack sufficient oversight, more than 40 other nations, including the European Union, have proactively prohibited or restricted the use of hundreds to thousands of cosmetic ingredients. Even major retailers, such as Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Credo Beauty, have developed their own lists of chemicals that manufacturers may not include, or must limit, in the retailers’ store brand cosmetic products.

Muratsuchi, the assistant majority leader for policy and research,  represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. Hs is chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

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