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Troubling PFAS study leads to introduction of new legislation

A recent study, published in the Environmental Science & Technology Letters journal, found that more than 50 percent of 231 American and Canadian cosmetics tested contained toxic PFAS substances. The release of this alarming study quickly led to the introduction of the “No PFAS in Cosmetics Act”.

The bipartisan bill is cosigned by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut of the Senate, as well as Democratic Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan in the House of Representatives. As CNN explains, “The proposed act would direct the FDA to issue a proposed rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS in cosmetics within 270 days of enactment, with a final rule to be issued 90 days thereafter.”

PFAS chemicals have been linked to everything from hormone disruption and decreased fertility, to liver damage and cancer. More than a dozen PFAS chemicals are known to exist, and they’ve been identified in over 600 products from close to 100 various brands. Carpeting, furniture, food packaging, they’ve all been found to contain PFAS toxins. We come into contact with PFAS daily, they don’t degrade in the environment, and they’ve been detected in 97% percent of Americans according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Revealed in the study is that experts found toxic levels of PFAS in 82% of mascaras tested, 63% of foundations tested, and 62% of long-lasting lipsticks tested. Even more alarming may be that nearly 90% of the products tested failed to disclose on their ingredient labels the presence of PFAS in their products, despite them being required to do so.

For their part, some retailers are taking notice...and action. Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and Amazon are now taking a closer look at toxins in the personal care products sold in their stores and on their websites. As well, companies like Ulta and Sephora have both improved their retailer grades in the “Who’s Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals. With the revel of this latest report and introduction of new legislation, maybe we will finally start to see some real action taken in forever eliminating these “forever” chemicals.

To read the full story on CNN, click here: