Bill To Ban Some Chemicals, Change Labeling Requirements for Personal-Care Products Dies in Assembly Committee
A bill (AB 2025) that would require manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to disclose all of the ingredients used in the products and ban distribution of those that contain possibly harmful chemicals "apparently died" Tuesday during private negotiations with the Assembly Health Committee, the Sacramento Bee reports. Beginning in January 2006, the bill would have prohibited the sale of products containing chemicals -- such as phthalates, which are found in products such as food packaging and lubricating oils -- that could cause cancer or birth defects. Under the bill, manufacturers would have been able to continue selling products that contained the chemicals if they could prove to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that the products were not dangerous to humans. Clinical studies have demonstrated that some chemicals included in personal-care products can be hazardous to animals, but the government -- which is not required to test such chemicals -- has not found that the products pose a "significant risk" to people, the Bee reports. Assembly member Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), who sponsored the legislation, dropped it after encountering strong opposition from Assembly Health Committee Chair Rebecca Cohn (D-Campbell). Despite Chu's offer to remove the sales ban from the bill and just require manufacturers to disclose all chemicals in personal care products, Cohn remained firm in her opposition because of "fears that disclosure could spark frivolous lawsuits," the Bee reports. Opponents of the legislation say that reformulating personal-care products would be "costly and alarmist, based more on politics than science," the Bee reports. In addition, cosmetics industry officials say that the bill would ban "safe cosmetics that contain even insignificant amounts of certain chemicals." A ban on harmful substances in personal-care products in member states of the European Union will take effect in September (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 4/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.