When you’re a kid, rules are the bane of your existence. “Why can’t we just have ice cream for dinner?!” But as you get older, you realize there are certain laws and regulations put in place to help protect you. Like the enforcement of child car seats, the smoking ban on airplanes, and even a simple stop sign. While these laws seem like small, simple changes, they make a world of difference for our health and safety. We believe cosmetic safety reform should fit into this category. Because while you would think the products we use on our hair and body every day would be monitored for harmful ingredients, the truth is that the beauty industry is hardly regulated at all.
That’s why we’re using our voice as a leader in the cosmetic industry to change these outdated laws that are currently failing to protect North American families from harmful chemicals commonly found in personal care products. We go to this effort because we know that legislation works in protecting people and public health.
Take, for instance, when lead was banned from gasoline. The Centers for Disease Control measured that after lead was banned, lead levels in children’s blood plummeted. While being around the gas pump or car fumes may not have seemed like something that would be harmful, this simple legislation had a dramatic impact on children’s health.
Another example is Sweden’s move away from flame retardants. “Flame retardants are chemicals that are added or applied to materials in order to slow or prevent the start/growth of fire. They have been used in many consumer and industrial products since the 1970s, to decrease the ability of materials to ignite,” says the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Commonly found in upholstery, mattresses, carpets and curtains, they’ve been linked to endocrine and thyroid disruption, reproductive toxicity, and even cancer. It’s so toxic that some are even calling it “the new lead.” Swedish doctors began collecting breast milk from new mothers and found that with the rise of flame retardants in furniture there was also a tremendous uptick in flame retardant in breast milk. After the discovery, Sweden required furniture companies to remove the flame retardants from their products and subsequently, flame retardant levels in breast milk dropped dramatically.
When it comes to personal care products, there was a study done by UC Berkeley where they removed all phthalates and parabens from personal care and cosmetic products of a number of Latina teens. Within just three days there was a 27.4% decrease in parabens and a 43.9% decrease in phthalates simply from making this small change. (Beautycounter products are never formulated with parabens or phthalates.)
As you can see, regulation matters. Imagine how much safer and healthier we all could be if more legislation were passed to protect us from harmful chemicals. That’s why we’ll continue to fight the good fight. Join us and email Congress today.