Dec 19, 2023 06:05 AM EST
Representation of various makeup products.
Less Cancer is calling for a new chemical registration program for cosmetic companies after chemicals linked to cancer were found in makeup products.
The nonprofit organization urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mandate the registration of chemicals in cosmetics to prevent exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
A recent study found 27 PFAS chemicals in makeup sold in China. Last month, lab tests of some makeup products sold in Canada, requested by CBC Marketplace and conducted by Notre Dame University professor Graham Peaslee and Carleton University assistant professor Amy Rand, discovered PFAS in eyeshadows, eyeliners, and foundations.
Known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS do not easily break down, can persist in the body for decades, and have been linked to certain cancers and severe health complications, according to Less Cancer.
This year, a Mount Sinai study found that certain PFAS appear to increase the risk for thyroid cancer. In another study, a group of researchers from various institutions, including University of Michigan, found that women face increased odds for ovarian and other types of cancer following exposure to certain PFAS and phenol chemicals.
In the past, cosmetic companies would voluntarily register product chemicals with the FDA, but the program concluded in February.
Following the agency’s announcement last month that it has pushed back its new program to July next year, Less Cancer called on the FDA to prioritize implementing a new registration process to safeguard public health.
Less Cancer also recently backed bipartisan PFAS legislation supported by Reps. Debbie Dingell, Brian Fitzpatrick, Pat Ryan, and others.
This legislation aims to reduce people’s exposure to PFAS by proposing a national drinking water standard, faster hazardous substance designation, limits on industrial discharge, and a $200 million annual allocation for water utilities.
Bill Couzens, the nonprofit organization’s founder and president, emphasized the legislation’s potential to mitigate cancer risks and applauded the legislators’ collaborative efforts for future generations’ well-being.
Couzens said, “This legislation provides an opportunity to lower cancer risks and save lives.”