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Colorado Proposed Ban on Cancer-Causing Beauty Products

Colorado Proposes a Ban on Potentially Carcinogenic Cosmetics

In an effort to put a halt to the distribution and sale of personal care products with known carcinogens, a Colorado state senator and state representative recently proposed a ban on such products to the house.

State Senator Betty Boyd and State Representative Dianne Primavera are sponsoring The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, arguing that personal care products such as cosmetics, shampoo, and lotions contain chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. The FDA doesn't review personal care products before they hit the market, and Boyd and Primavera believe their plan can help protect public health. Bill HB 1248 proposes identifying chemicals deemed harmful by groups such as the EPA, then judging whether an ingredient is toxic. If the bill goes into law, the sale of products with those ingredients will be prohibited in Colorado. Manufacturers who break the law will be fined $5,000—$10,000.

Unsurprisingly, the cosmetics lobby is not in favor of the bill. "They are proposing to ban products that are legally marketed under the FDA's regulation," Lisa Powers of the Personal Care Products Council said to Cosmetics Design. "It is grossly overreaching and lacks any scientific basis." The House Judiciary is currently reviewing the bill, and if it passes, it could go into effect as soon as Aug. 11, 2010. If that happens, though, the state won't step in; it'll be up to consumers to enforce it (most likely through lawsuits).

What do you think about the potential ban? Is Colorado moving in the right direction, or is their plan just not developed enough to be carried out successfully?

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reynolda reynolda 7 years
CA does have a similar law, Prop. 65, but it doesn't ban any products; rather it just requires that a warning be placed on all substances that contain chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (and there is a list of things that are "known" to do this and thus require the warning). Unfortunately, the list is both under and over exclusive-- some things on the list have been proven repeatedly to NOT actually cause this kind of harm, but there are also things that are quiet dangerous that aren't on the list at all (usually because they are substitutes for the banned chemicals that haven't yet been placed on the banned list). CO's law sounds quite different because it would actually take things off of the market if they had toxic elements. This is probably a better approach, as CA's law hasn't worked very well for a lot of substances because it's overused-- everything, including the lobby and garage of every apartment building I've ever been in, has a prop 65 warning on it (parking garages have cars in them, cars release chemicals). People just tune them out because they're everywhere, so they don't really do much good.
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
Doesn't California have a similar ban in placed where products that contains carcinogenic ingredients or causes a detrimental effect to the ozone layer cannot be sold in the state?
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 7 years
Agreed Marcie - exactly what I was thinking.
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
this sounds like a good idea to me. while I believe that as consumers we should be more conscious of what we purchase, it would be nice if beauty products with known carcinogens didn't even make it to the counters (it's kind of like paying to get cancer right?). so hopefully if Colorado's ban is successful, other states will follow, which would force beauty products to make changes.
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