The Washington State Department of Ecology found high levels of harmful chemicals in several popular beauty products as part of a study published in January.
OLYMPIA, Wash. Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on Monday that would ban nine harmful chemicals found in some common beauty products.
House Bill 1047 also directed the Department of Ecology to conduct a risk assessment for chemicals that could replace chemicals in cosmetic products that would now be banned in the state.
These eight chemicals and/or chemical groups will be banned on January 1, 2025 when intentionally added to products.
- perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
- formaldehyde and chemicals identified by Ecology as releasing formaldehyde
- methylene glycol
- mercury and mercury compounds
- m-phenylenediamine and its salt
- o-phenylenediamine and its salts
Lead and its compounds are also restricted when intentionally added or a certain threshold is met.
The ecosystem must identify an initial group of up to 10 formaldehyde-releasing chemicals that will be restricted by January 1, 2026. Other chemicals may be identified and banned no earlier than January 1, 2027. .
Retailers must use up their existing supply of banned chemicals by January 1, 2026.
Manufacturers who violate the new law will be fined $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each repeat violation. These fines will be deposited into the Model Poison Control Executive Account.
In January, the state purchased 50 products from Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer and Dollar Tree in the Puget Sound area, including foundation, lipstick, lotion, conditioner, and hair gel. Ecosystem sent them to a lab for testing, which found heavy metals in some foundation and lipsticks.
For example, lead and arsenic have been detected in freshly pressed dark-colored COVERGIRL foundation. They also found lead in the radiant black compact foundation and COVERGIRL continuous color lipstick.
The lab found formaldehyde in all 10 hair gels, including Old Spice putty with beeswax and 9 out of 10 dry conditioners.
Erika Schreder, chief scientific officer of the nonprofit Toxic-Free Future, says she discovered that the highest-formaldehyde hair styling gel had just been applied to her teenage daughter’s braids at the University of California. Hairdressers.
“Even as a toxicology expert, I get frustrated when my own daughter has used a product containing formaldehyde on her hair,” says Schreder. “We really need the state to step in and ensure that these harmful chemicals are removed from these products and replaced with safer alternatives.”
The second phase of the study examined chemicals in nail polish, hairspray, blush and eyeshadow. Results are expected in June.