Meet the New Chemical Safety Rules (Same as the Old Rules)

4186-1402The Washington Post today reported on the decades-old federal government rules on the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products, including shampoo and many children’s personal care products. The rules were adopted in 1938 but have not been updated since.

A year ago, the FDA and the cosmetics industry came together in talks to strengthen and modernize safety rules. But this week an FDA official wrote that industry’s proposal would actually weaken the current outdated rules and undermine more protective state laws, stating that their proposal if adopted would “put Americans at greater risk from cosmetics-related illness and injury than they are today.”

In an eerily similar vein, last week Congressman John Shimkus (R-Il) floated a new chemical policy bill. Similar to the outdated cosmetic rules, U.S. safety rules on thousands of chemicals used in common household products have not been updated for more than four decades, yet scientists are finding new evidence every day of the harmful health effects of many widely used chemicals. Unfortunately, like the industry-proposed cosmetic rules, the latest House proposal for new chemical rules would actually make matters worse for American children and families. CEH Eastern States Dirctor Ansje Miller said the Shimkus proposal “would leave our children and families even more vulnerable to chemicals that devastate our health, our ability to learn, our fertility, and more.”

We need real chemical safety rules now, not more backwards industry-led proposals. See more on chemical safety reform and CEH’s action.