It's up to Congress to close gaping holes in the outdated federal law that allows cancer-causing chemicals in baby shampoo, hormone disruptors in fragrance and lead in lipstick.That's what you get when you have a $50 billion industry that's practically self-regulated.
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R.2359), introduced on June 24, 2011 by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., is designed to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that ingredients are fully disclosed.
Existing law – the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938 – cedes decisions about ingredient safety to the cosmetics industry. Under the current law, the FDA can't require cosmetics companies to conduct safety assessments, and can’t even require product recalls. In a recent example, the FDA could not issue a mandatory recall of Brazilian Blowout hair straightening products even after they were found to contain formaldehyde.