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The beauty industry is one of the few industries where harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, and lead are allowed as ingredients. This current trend of consumers educating themselves, however, has finally forced the government to take action. A bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24 may give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to keep our personal-care products free of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders, and other ailments. With the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R.2359), we may at last witness a shift from a policy that hasn’t been updated since 1938.

Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, sustainable beauty, House of Representatives, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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This is a very encouraging sign. Years ago, when I started using natural beauty products, I could count on one hand the brands that offered truly nontoxic ingredients. Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of what we put on our bodies. As a result, a growing number of brands are offering more natural and organic solutions.

It appears that this has caught the attention of many politicians. “The personal care products that make us clean should not make us sick,” says Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. “America’s diaper bags and medicine cabinets should never have to be labeled ‘hazardous to your health’ due to products like creams, conditioners, and cosmetics that contain dangerous ingredients. The Safe Cosmetics Act will close a gaping hole in the federal law that allows potentially toxic chemicals to remain in the products we use everyday.”

“America’s diapers bags and medicine cabinets should never have to be labeled ‘hazardous to your health,'” says Congressman Ed Markey.

This is welcome news to small-business owners who manufacture safe products but can’t compete with bigger corporations. “This legislation,” says Rebecca Hamilton, director of product development at Badger, “creates a floor of safety for the industry and guarantees that all companies are playing by the same rules, supporting the efforts of companies raising the bar for sustainability and safety in the marketplace and increasing demand for safer products.”

Ask your U.S. representative to co-sponsor the Safe Cosmetics Act, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the bill gets passed. We are due for change.

+ Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011