Assembly panel approves toxic cosmetics ban
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Debra Kahn, Politico
The Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee approved a bill today that would give the state far more power to restrict chemicals in cosmetics.
CA AB495 (19R), by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), would model the state's rules after the European Union's by specifying a list of toxic chemicals that can't be contained in cosmetics, including formaldehyde, asbestos, mercury and several categories of a chemical known as PFAS. The bill would give the state the authority to impose recalls, injunctions and civil or criminal penalties for violations.
The bill passed 5-0 with Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) and Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) not voting.
Industry representatives with the Personal Care Products Council, which includes some 600 cosmetics manufacturers, said the bill was currently written to be stricter than the European Union's rules, which allow trace amounts of chemicals. Muratsuchi said he would amend the bill to mirror the E.U.'s language more closely.
"That the work product will fully and strictly align us with the E.U. gives us a lot of comfort," said PCPC representative Mandy Lee.
"We want to have a bill such that anything that can be sold in the 28 E.U. countries can be sold in California; we realize that may require more work on the bill, and that's fine," committee chairman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) said. "It's important we get out a bill and then people know what they're working with."
The bill now heads to the Assembly Health Committee for a Friday hearing. It must move out of the Assembly by the end of the month, under the deadline to pass 2019 bills out of their house of origin.