Last month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced new legislation calling for an investigation into the presence of contaminants and impurities in cosmetics and personal care products geared for babies and children.
If enacted, the Safe Baby Products Act of 2009 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to test a full range of cosmetics, personal care products such as baby shampoo, baby bath, lipstick, nail polish, lotion, cream, sunscreen, liquid soap and baby wipes. The bill requests testing of products that are marketed to or used by children aged 7 years and younger and are likely contain contaminants or impurities such as 1,4–dioxane; nitrosamines; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; acrylamide; ethylene oxide; dioxin; 1,3–butadiene; formaldehyde; lead; and hydroquinone.
The bill requires that regulations be established within one year for the cosmetics industry for the reduction or elimination of such contaminants or impurities.
According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Senator Gillibrand introduced the bill in response to a study the group conducted, which revealed that many baby shampoos and bubble baths contain carcinogenic formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane and are not listed on labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is comprised of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, National Black Environmental Justice Network, National Environmental Trust and Women's Voices for the Earth.