A California bill that consumer and environmental groups hoped would force changes across the entire beauty industry nationwide is shelved following pushback from the cosmetics lobby.
State lawmakers were scheduled to vote on the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act on April 23, but that vote has been put off indefinitely. Lawmakers said that there were no longer enough votes in a key committee to move the bill forward.
The bill identified twenty potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics, many of which are already banned in other countries. The bill would have prohibited their use in products sold in the Golden State. Asbestos, phthalates, formaldehyde, mercury, and various parabens were among the chemicals listed.
“California has the fifth-largest economy in the world and is a leader in the makeup industry,” an Environmental Working Group lobbyist who supported the bill told the Los Angeles Times. “If manufacturers have to comply with our state law, they would likely have to reformulate products sold throughout the United States.”
But the environmentalists were outmatched by the Personal Care Products Council, the lobbying group that represents the $250 billion worldwide cosmetics industry.
The industry group claimed that the bill “grossly oversimplifies the complex science behind the ingredients in cosmetics and personal-care products.”
The California Chamber of Commerce agreed, saying the bill was a “jobs-killer.” Federal laws currently allow the cosmetics industry to self-regulate for dangerous toxins such as asbestos.