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Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson

Obama’s Environmental Policy a Beauty


Creative Commons License Photo credit: jurvetson

Advocates for safety in cosmetics have long been hoping for some good news on the regulation of cosmetics by the U.S. government.  With standards in the U.S. being very loose and under regulated as compared to those of the European Union, it is about time someone step up and take a stand against all of the harmful ingredients being thrown into our cosmetics and personal care products.

Well, it looks as if Barack Obama may do just that.  Cosmetics giants are sweating through their aluminum-based antiperspirants at the news of possible reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which gives the EPA authority to regulate certain chemicals.  As of now, the cosmetics industry is excluded from the act, but changes in the law could require increased testing and reporting of chemicals used in personal care products.

These potential regulatory changes could be costly to cosmetics manufacturers as most conventionally produced cosmetics and skincare products are made with low cost, long shelf life ingredients.  Many of which are harmful to humans and the environment.

As reported by Cosmetics Business late last week, “Another proposal that industry officials are monitoring is a proposed FDA Globalisation Act, a bill that includes a series of new registration requirements for cosmetics makers. The legislation would mandate that manufacturers register all new facilities, products and ingredients with the FDA. The proposal also requires the reporting of adverse effects and the establishment of best practices by the industryâ€.

The bill would also set registration fees for manufacturers – US$2,000 for American-based companies and US$10,000 for foreign firms.  Currently, registration with the FDA is voluntary for cosmetics manufacturers.

With Obama’s pledge of a more aggressive environmental policy and the appointment of several key players to his environmental team, big changes could be in store for the cosmetics industry.

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