From Dr. Mercola:

The average U.S. woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). While most men use fewer products, they’re still exposed to about 85 such chemicals daily.

Teens, whose developing bodies are especially vulnerable to chemical exposures, use an average of 17 personal care products a day and are exposed to even more.1

When EWG tested teens to find out which chemicals in personal care products were found in their bodies, 16 different hormone-altering chemicals, including parabens and phthalates, were detected.2

You might be surprised that potentially harmful chemicals exist in your body lotion, deodorant, shampoo, and cosmetics, but it’s really par for the course. Cosmetics can come on the market without any type of approval necessary.

Only after a product is deemed to be harmful, adulterated, or misbranded can the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take regulatory action, although it rarely does. Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers, fed up with the addition of dangerous chemicals to beauty and skin care products, is calling for much-needed change.

Congress Wants to Give FDA More Power to Make Personal Care Products Safe

Congress has proposed a law that would give the FDA authority to test whether chemicals added to personal care products are being used at safe levels. If the chemicals are found to exceed “safe” levels, the FDA could force a recall.

As it stands, the FDA simply does not have the resources to routinely test such products or even to take regulatory action except under extreme circumstances. According to the FDA:3

“FDA takes regulatory action based upon agency priorities, consistent with public health concerns and available resources.”

The bill, dubbed the Personal Care Products Safety Act, could change that. As reported by ABC News:4

“Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced an amendment to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that would give the Food and Drug Administration more power and oversight to regulate the chemicals men and women slather on their bodies every day.”

The bill includes a system requiring product manufacturers to register their products and ingredients, and would require the FDA to review five chemicals in personal care products each year in order to evaluate their safety. The first set of chemicals recommended for testing include:

Diazolidinyl urea Lead acetate Methylene glycol/formaldehyde Propyl paraben Quaternium-15

In Europe, more than 1,300 chemicals are banned from use in lotions, soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, and other personal care products. Contrast that to in the US, where just 11 are banned.5

Adding insult to injury, the FDA tasks the companies that manufacture and market cosmetics and other personal care products with ensuring their safety.

Not only does this pose an obvious conflict of interest, but according to the FDA, “neither the law nor FDA regulations currently require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.”6  

The new bill, which is expected to pass, would

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