Safe Cosmetics Act Addresses Gaps in Safety Regulations

September 1, 2011

Many U.S. users of cosmetics may not realize that they do not require FDA testing or approval and the federal agency is not authorized to require a manufacturer to recall unsafe products from the market. Because cosmetics are not regulated in the same way drugs are, it’s more difficult for consumers to make informed decisions, and the FDA has less power to regulate the cosmetics industry and respond to problems.

The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, introduced by Janice Schakowsky (IL-D), is intended to help close some of these gaps in cosmetics regulation.

The Act would give the government the power to recall unsafe cosmetics, require better disclosure of ingredients, establish additional safety standards and require manufacturers to submit data on the safety of their products, mandate reporting of adverse health effects, allow the banning of ingredients found to have reproductive or cancer-causing effects, encourage alternatives to animal testing, address worker safety, along with other measures.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which promotes the legislation and greater consumer awareness of cosmetic safety concerns, has more information at

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