Washington signs Toxic Free Cosmetics Act

“I think it’s great to have an overall generalization to that in all sorts of makeup just because in makeup if you want it to be more natural [it] tends to be more expensive.”
– Senior Mary Poole

Washington state recently signed the nation’s strongest law against toxic chemicals in cosmetics, aptly named the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act. The ban will go into effect starting 2025 or early 2026 and will prohibit the sale of beauty products containing nine different chemicals and classes of chemicals, including polyfluoroalkyl substances, formaldehyde, triclosan and mercury, all of which have been linked to causing cancers and other health complications. The law builds on existing laws in six other states: California, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Maine and Colorado. In addition to the ban, the law directs the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Department of Health to research possible dangers of other chemicals in cosmetics sold on the shelves.

“These are hazardous chemicals that would, if they were found at a Superfund site […] trigger a substantial cleanup process,” said Ami Zota, associate professor of Columbia University’s Health Sciences Department. “And yet they’re allowed in the products that we put in close proximity to our bodies.”