Cosmetics Industry May Face EPA Control

Reader Contribution by Jessie Fetterling

The cosmetics industry may be getting a whole lot prettier — at least in the eyes of environmentalists. According to an article in Cosmetics Business, officials are wary that the Obama administration might make several changes involving industry regulations and the scope and authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which could cost cosmetics companies a lot of money, meeting new registration requirements and perhaps even replacing ingredients that are commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics.

As of now, the cosmetics industry is not included in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which gives the EPA authority to regulate chemicals. Cosmetics manufacturers are only required to test chemicals for human safety, not environmental protection. However, Congress has already made several proposals that could change that.

For starters, California Representative Henry Waxman’s proposed Kid-Safe Chemical Act would enhance requirements for chemical testing, and has already been endorsed by a number of environmental groups. Another proposal may require cosmetics manufacturers to register all new facilities, products and ingredients with the FDA. Registration fees (which are currently voluntary for cosmetic manufacturers) would be $2,000 for American-based companies and up to $10,000 for foreign ones. It may be expensive, but the cosmetics industry will get the chance to make the world more beautiful — in a way that’s healthier for their customers and the environment.