On June 11, the California Assembly passed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act A.B. 2762, by a resounding bipartisan vote of 54-0.
If enacted, the law would be the first in the nation to ban 12 chemicals from cosmetics, including formaldehyde, mercury, PFAS, long-chain parabens and phthalates. It was introduced in February 2020.
Assembly members Al Muratsuchi, Bill Quirk and Buffy Wicks are joint authors of the landmark legislation. The bill will now move to the state Senate, where it will be heard by policy and fiscal committees. All bills must be passed out of the legislature by the end of August.
“I want my daughter growing up in a state where I don’t have to examine the label, and be an expert toxicologist, to know the soaps, face creams and toothpastes that are safe for her to use,” said Assembly member Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), lead author of the legislation. “That’s why I introduced AB 2762 to get the most toxic chemicals out of the products we use on a daily basis.”
Assembly member Wicks (D-Oakland), joint author, added, “As a mom, and as a soon to be new mom again, I have enough to worry about without having to be concerned that my daughter’s bubble bath might be exposing her to a known human carcinogen, or a hormonally active chemical, that could put her on the path to early puberty or even later life disease,” she said on the Assembly floor. “These are chemicals where the science is undisputed as to the harm they cause to human health.”
Assembly member Quirk (D-Hayward), a scientist and joint author, said, “Passage of this bill is an important step to protect public health. Nine of the chemicals we are proposing to ban in AB 2762 are linked to a compromised immune system which can increase susceptibility to, and negatively impact recovery from, COVID-19.”
The Environmental Working Group, CALPIRG, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Black Women for Wellness are co-sponsors of the bill.
This is only the latest legislation aimed at personal care reform. In November, congressional representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) introduced the landmark Natural Cosmetics Act in Washington, which aims to define the terms “natural” and “naturally-derived ingredient” as they relate to personal care products.