- NAACP: Detroit water shutoffs are racially motivated
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Big milestone for Britain’s little Prince George who turns 1
- Murphy: Israel must be wary of Hamas using civilian deaths for recruitment
- Royce: Putin recruiting ‘every skinhead and malcontent around Russia’
- Nancy Pelosi is adamant: Congress worked together when Bush was president
- ‘Slender Man’ stabbing victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous veteran
- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
Bill would give FDA more regulation of chemicals in cosmetics
Question of the Day
The Food and Drug Administration would have more power to regulate toothpaste, deodorant, hair treatments and other beauty products under a bill proposed by an Illinois Democrat - a move critics consider regulatory overreach.
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky said she will reintroduce the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, which would give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to regulate chemicals in the products and require manufacturers to disclose ingredients, among other things.
The bill is backed by salon industry workers worried about long-term health effects, and they shared those concerns at a congressional briefing last week.
“Why should hairstylists, such as myself, live in fear about our health?” Safiyyah Edley asked at the meeting. She owns a natural hair salon in California.
Thu Quach, a research scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California who attended the briefing, said she would like to see a ban on what she calls the “toxic trio” - dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene - three chemicals often linked with cancer, birth defects and developmental harm.
Ms. Schakowsky said she is convinced the legislation is needed.
“The increasing number of reports of serious health issues stemming from the use of dangerous chemicals in beauty products … proves that there is a need to protect both the safety of consumers as well as the safety of workers from harmful exposure,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the FDA does not have sufficient authority to monitor and regulate the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetic products.”
However, business groups say this could raise prices for consumers and hurt the industry. Kayla Fioravanti, co-owner and chief formulator at Essential Wholesale in Clackamas, Ore., says most chemicals in cosmetics have proved to be safe over years of use and they are being misrepresented.
“Unfortunately, there’s been some misinformation that’s going out there that these things are unsafe and that they aren’t tested when actually they are,” she said, citing the industry’s Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, which requires testing.
Ms. Schakowsky’s bill stalled in the Democrat-controlled House last year, and it will face even longer odds this year with the GOP in charge. Just this week, Republican budget writers called for a $285 million cut to FDA funding in fiscal 2012, 11.5 percent less than 2011.
“I think the chances of that are about zero,” said Kathleen Dezio, a spokeswoman for the Personal Care Products Council.
Still, the hair and nail stylists who are exposed to the chemicals daily say Congress needs to act.
Cosmetologist Van Nguyen, who immigrated to the U.S. more than a decade ago and works at a San Francisco nail salon, said she fears the chemicals at her job are responsible for two miscarriages and memory loss.
“We came here for a better life, but I didn’t know I’d end up working with harmful chemicals. My doctor has advised me not to work around these chemicals, but this is how I know to make a living,” she explained. “What can I do?”
Some salons are seeking healthier options.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at email@example.com.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters' questions on book tour
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Blunder on the bases costly in D-Backs' 4-3 loss
- Nancy Pelosi: Congress worked together when Bush was president
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq