-- American women put an average of 168 chemicals on their bodies each day, according to a nonprofit group, but two senators say federal regulations on personal care products have barely changed since the 1930s.
"From shampoo to lotion, the use of personal care products is widespread, however, there are very few protections in place to ensure their safety," Feinstein said in a statement.
The 98-page bill includes a system of registering personal care companies, their products and their ingredients, and it would require the FDA to review five chemicals that appear generally in personal care products each year to evaluate their safety. The first set of chemicals will likely be diazolidinyl urea, lead acetate, methylene glycol/formaldehyde, propyl paraben, quaternium-15, according to Feinstein’s office.
The senators worked with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit consumer health advocacy group that started the Skin Deep database about a decade ago. The Skin Deep database allows consumers to look up personal care products to learn what chemicals they contain, and whether those chemicals are associated with any health risks.
"These are basic tools that should have been granted to the FDA decades ago, but are only now being provided in the Feinstein-Collins bill," said Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group's vice president of government affairs. "Cosmetics are sort of the last unregulated area of consumer products law. I can't overstate how little law is now on the books. The FDA virtually has no power to regulate the products we use everyday."
"Many if not most of these chemicals are probably safe," Faber said. "We can't know for sure because they haven't been subject to any kind of review by a third party."
The FDA said it cannot comment on proposed legislation.