California First U.S. State to Ban Harmful Cosmetics Ingredients, Already Forbidden in the EU

California is the first state in the nation to ban 24 toxic ingredients from being used in cosmetics, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2762, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, on Wednesday. The law will take effect starting on Jan. 1, 2025.

The harmful ingredients, which are connected to a number of major health-related issues, birth defects and diseases including cancer, are already forbidden from beauty and personal-care products sold in 40 countries, including the European Union.

“Children, communities of color and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to these ingredients, which are not actively regulated by the federal government,” Newsom said in a statement.

Authored by Assembly members Al Muratsuchi, Bill Quirk and Buffy Wicks, the list of banned chemicals includes PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), mercury, formaldehyde, along with endocrine-disrupting phthalates and long-chain parabens, which are preservatives used in skin-care products.

“For more than 80 years, Congress has neglected to increase the scope of the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over cosmetics, limiting the agency’s ability to ensure the safety of cosmetic products,” noted a statement from the Environmental Working Group, which cosponsored the legislation alongside Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the California Public Interest Research Group. The organizations work to protect consumers and public health.

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