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Legislation/Take Action

Legislation/Take Action

What can you do and how to Take Action

What can you do to ensure your products are safe to use for you and your family?

  • Education-first, educate yourself on what ingredients you should stay away from in beauty and personal care products.  Even if the product or someone says it is natural, organic, green please check the ingredient list.  I have purchased products that I thought were natural or didn’t contain toxic materials because of the claims they made and later found out their products had harmful ingredients in them.
  • Share information with your family and friends.  Just realize some people may not want to hear what you have to say.  I’ve talked to a few people that I was shocked by their responses (I won’t name any names).  I’ve heard things like “well everything can hurt you/causes cancer” or “it’s such a small amount of the ingredient it really doesn’t matter” or “I’m too old it doesn’t matter any more.”  My response?  I try to explain as much as I can but let them know it is their decision, but this is what I’m doing for me and my family.
  • Don’t buy toxic products.  There are so many safer, affordable options out there now.
    • How you spend your money is how you vote on what exists in the world~ Vicki Robin
  • Discuss your concerns about certain products with the company/manufacturer.  Email them, ask them questions on Instagram or social media.  Hopefully, the company/manufacturer will answer your question and be transparent about what ingredients are in their products.
  • Write to your senator, legislator about your concerns.

RESOURCES & HOW TO ACT FOR CHANGE

Here are some amazing resources and companies that are spearheading the way to make our products safer.  Please click on links to find out more information:

Breast Cancer Fund:  The Breast Cancer Fund works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments.  The Breast Cancer Fund works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics– The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a project of the Breast Cancer Fund, works to protect the health of consumers, workers and the environment through public education and engagement, corporate accountability and sustainability campaigns and legislative advocacy designed to eliminate dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health impacts from cosmetics and personal care products.

Clean Beauty Revolution Au Naturale Cosmetics started the movement for the #cleanbeautyrevolution asking for stricter legislation.  Specifically, they are asking law makers to make cosmetics safe by creating the Clean Beauty Standard that will protect consumers against harsh chemicals, beginning with required ingredient transparency. This means clear and accountable labelling of all cosmetic products.  You can also read my post about it here.

EWG The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit organization.   The EWG’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education to drive consumer choice and civic action.

Made Safe is a non-profit organization that provides America’s first comprehensive human health-focused certification for nontoxic products across store aisles, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. Their goal is to change the way products are made in this country to ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether.

Think Dirty is a mobile application “Think Dirty® app is the easiest way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. Just scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options!”

These are just some of the references I use when researching ingredients/products and I will add more as the green beauty community movement continues.

XO

Green Passion Beauty

References:  Information from resources/companies from their websites, please see links above for details.

 

 

 

 

Legislation/Take Action

#CleanBeautyRevolution Au Naturale Cosmetics

GPB Cleanbeautyrevolution

The #CleanBeautyRevolution is here and it’s about time.  For over 70 years the cosmetic industry has basically had limited restrictions on what ingredients, including harmful chemicals they put into our personal care products.  Au Naturale Cosmetics has been on a mission to make our products safe and we all can be part of it by signing the #CleanBeautyLobby.  Au Naturale is asking law makers to make cosmetics safe by creating a CLEAN BEAUTY STANDARD.  This Standard will protect us, the consumers, by demanding stricter legislation to monitor the cosmetic industry and clear, transparent labeling of beauty products in the United States.

Why is this so important?  Think about all the products you see on the market labeled “natural”, “organic” and “green”  that aren’t really what they say they are.  Why?  Great question- because there is not a legal definition for these terms when it comes to the cosmetic industry.  I must admit I’ve been fooled by these product labels, thinking I was buying natural safe products only to find out they had all the harmful ingredients that could be linked to health concerns.

Many people believe that if the product is out on the market, the product is safe and if labeled natural, organic or green that it truly is.  However, this is not true.  First, most would think we shouldn’t even have to worry about this, our products should just be safe period.   Second, most consumers would believe if there are certain labels on our products like organic, natural or green then they would have to meet those standards.  But, our products aren’t all safe, labels are ambiguous and the cosmetic industry is in a world all their own.

In the United States, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act(FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), does not have authority to require companies to test their products for safety.  Also, with the exception of color additives there are only a few prohibited substances that cosmetics companies can’t use.  There are about 10 ingredients banned in the United States, where the European Union (EU) has banned more than 1,000 ingredients.

So why is the US so different from the EU in the cosmetic industry?  More to that story later, the point now is, we as consumers have the right to safe products and clear labeling.  So what can we do?

If you want safer, stricter regulations for the cosmetic industry please join the #CleanBeautyRevolution by signing Au Naturale cosmetics CLEAN BEAUTY LOBBY petition on change.org.  We can all take action by spreading the word to our family, friends, co-workers and anyone that will listen.  Also, Au Naturale Cosmetics is inviting everyone to join the Clean Beauty Revolution by spreading the word via social media using hashtags #CleanBeautyRevolution and #CleanBeautyLobby to support the movement.  Au Naturale is planning on sitting down with Congress soon, Spring 2016, so let’s all stand together and demand safer products and stricter legislation to monitor the cosmetic industry.

GPB lobby

So what are you waiting for?  Go sign the petition at change.org now if you haven’t already.  When I reached out to the Au Naturale Team they let me know their goal is at least 10k signatures by mid April.  Help support the #CleanBeautyRevolution and sign the #CleanBeautyLobby and share on social media.  For more details please also go to aunaturalife.com.

Let’s make a difference together.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

~ Margaret Mead

Xo

Green Passion Beauty

Resources

aunaturalecosmetics.com “CleanBeautyRevolution

“Myths on cosmetics safety” EWG

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Green Washing

EWG“Why this matters- Cosmetics and your health”

Legislation/Take Action

Microbead ban and the Beauty Industry- Are we one step closer to safer products?

Photo by 5gyres.org -Microbead

Are we one step closer to safer products with the Microbead ban?  Hopefully, but at least President Obama signing the ban against Microbeads is a step.  You may be asking what are these Microbeads and what’s the big deal with this law?  Let’s start with the law (boring for some and exciting for others) this is considered a bipartisan law, H.R.1321-114th Congress (2015-2016) and amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit the manufacture and introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics contacting intentionally added plastic microbeads.  What?

The bill was enacted to protect the nation’s waterway by banning the plastic particles called microbeads commonly found in our products like body scrubs, body washes and even toothpaste.  To be more specific, the bill defines Microbeads as:

“plastic-microbead-any solid plastic particle that is less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof; and the term “rinse-off” cosmetic includes toothpaste.”

 According to 5Gyres research, a single product can contain as many as 350,000 polyethylene or polypropylene microbeads – that’s crazy!  These microbeads are tiny plastic beads that exfoliate and are meant to slough off excess skin cells to smooth skin, help wipe away oil and dirt from the skin and teeth.  These microbeads  are made to wash down drains but they are NOT biodegradable so they end up in our lakes, rivers and oceans.

So you can see why microbeads may pose a threat to the environment because they are made out of plastic which can’t dissolve.  Specifically, the microbeads wash down drains into our waters harming the environment and the animals that live there and us.  Microbeads can be ingested by animals/organisms that live in our waters because the shape and size of the microbeads resemble the food they eat.  So one might say why not clean up the microbeads, not ban them, but they are so small in size clean up by water filtration is nearly impossible.  Therefore, by July 1, 2017, companies will have to eliminate the use of microbeads in personal care, cleansing and exfoliating products.  For a list of products that most likely contain microbeads see the list the International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics has compiled.

Until the microbead ban is effective, make sure to read labels and look to avoid products that contain polyethylene and polypropylenepolyethylene terphtahlate, polymethyl methacrylate, polylactic acid or nylon.  Plus you can shop for alternatives that are already out on the market, companies that don’t use plastic microbeads in their products.  These products use natural exfoliates like shells and natural waxes (coconut shell and jojoba), ground rice, salt, sugar, almonds and coffee beans.

This is great for our environment and hopefully a step we need to raise awareness that our laws or really lack of laws regulating the beauty industry need to be fixed.  This law is movement in the right direction for making our products safer.   Scientists showed through research that the microbeads are harming the environment and lawmakers were able to come together and decide to ban the microbeads.  This is important, because one day hopefully all the research and lobbying by Groups and Companies like The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The Breast Cancer Fund, Au Naturale Cosmetics Campaign Clean Beauty Lobby, and Beauty Counter will help get laws passed for safer products.  We as consumers have the right to know ingredients that are in our products.  One would think all of these products that are available on the market are safe, but that’s part of the issue.

Although, this legislation is a great step in the right direction for safer products, until we have stricter regulations we as consumers vote for products and companies with every purchase we make.

Green Passion Beauty

[Disclaimer:  I’m not an expert, merely a passionate green beauty sharing my opinion and information gathered from researching Microbead ban.  Also for more information about Microbeads go to 5Gyres.org ]

 

 

 

Legislation/Take Action

Regulation of the Cosmetic Industry

PGB legal scale

Who regulates the Cosmetic Industry?

We hear about laws and regulations over food and drugs, but what about the cosmetic industry?  In the United States the Cosmetic Industry is regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act, codified into Title 21 Chapter 9 of the United States Code) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), which were enacted over 75 years ago.  I used to think that if products were on the market they were safe and had to go through some kind of approval before I could buy them.  However, I was shocked to discover the cosmetic industry does not have strict laws to protect consumers.

The law does not require FDA premarket approval for cosmetic products and ingredients, like drugs, biologics and medical devices.  The FDA only does premarket approval for color additives.  This means a cosmetic manufacturer may use any ingredient in the formulation of a cosmetic, except for color additives and ingredients that are prohibited or restricted by a regulation.  Under the law, the ingredient and finished cosmetic still needs to be safe under labeled or customary conditions of use, properly labeled, and the ingredients can not cause the cosmetic to be adulterated or misbranded under the laws the FDA enforces.  This basically means the FD&C Act prohibits manufactures from using poisonous or deleterious substances, packaged and prepared under insanitary conditions rendering it injurious to health, or has false or misleading labeling.  This is why so many beauty and personal care products available to us have toxic ingredients and chemicals of concern.

Under the FD&C Act cosmetics are defined by their intended use (FD&C Act sec. 201(i).  The products included are:

  • Skin moisturizer
  • Perfumes
  • Lipsticks
  • Fingernail polishes
  • Eye and facial make-up
  • Cleansing shampoos
  • Permanent waves
  • Hair colors
  • Deodorants

The FD&C Act and the FPLA or FDA regulations do not require companies to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.  The companies and individuals who manufacturer or market the cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure their products are safe, but the laws do not require the cosmetic companies to share their safety information with the FDA.  Also, the laws do not give the FDA authority to recall cosmetics, the manufactures or distributors may take voluntary actions to recall their product if they are hazardous or defective.  Although the FDA doesn’t have authority to mandate a recall of a cosmetic, it can request that a firm recall a product.

We have a right as consumers to have safe products available to us all.  Until the FDA is granted further authority, we need to be diligent about checking our products for ingredients/chemicals of concern and we can demand the cosmetic industry and law makers pass stricter laws for safer products.

Green Passion Beauty

Resources: FDA  http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/default.htm, Office of the Law Revision Counsel United States Code Title 21, Chapter 9