Less Cancer Urges FDA to Prioritize Registering Chemicals in Cosmetics and Endorses Major PFAS Legislation

19 December 2023

Nonprofit Less Cancer calls for increased regulation of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics to prevent cancer-causing exposure.

Less Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention, is urging the FDA to take action and have cosmetic companies register the chemicals found in their makeup. This call for increased regulation comes as a response to the presence of cancer-causing PFAS chemicals in various cosmetic products, including waterproof mascara. PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” have been found to stay in the body for decades and are linked to certain cancers and serious health conditions in individuals of all ages. Less Cancer is advocating for stricter regulations to protect consumers from potential harm.

The Dangers of PFAS Chemicals in Cosmetics

PFAS chemicals have been found in a wide range of consumer products, including cosmetics. These chemicals are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” because once they enter the body, they persist for long periods of time and cannot be easily removed. Studies have shown that PFAS chemicals are linked to certain cancers and pose significant health risks, particularly to unborn babies, young children, and adults. Given that cosmetics are often applied to the sensitive eye area, there is a high risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals.

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The Need for Chemical Registration

Previously, cosmetic companies were encouraged to voluntarily register the chemicals used in their products. However, this program ended in February 2023, leaving a gap in oversight. In November, the FDA announced a delay in implementing a new program until July 2024, without prior notice. Less Cancer is calling for the FDA to prioritize the registration process and expedite its implementation to protect consumers from potential harm. By requiring cosmetic companies to disclose the chemicals used in their products, consumers can make informed choices and avoid potential exposure to harmful substances.

Support for PFAS Legislation

Less Cancer has recently expressed support for comprehensive, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell, Brian Fitzpatrick, Pat Ryan, and other members of Congress. This legislation aims to protect Americans and the environment from harmful forever chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The proposed bill includes provisions to establish a national drinking water standard for select PFAS chemicals, accelerate the designation of PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous substances, and limit industrial discharge. Additionally, the bill includes funding to assist water utilities and wastewater treatment facilities. Less Cancer believes that this legislation presents an opportunity to lower cancer risks and save lives.

The Importance of Evidence-Based Science

Bill Couzens, the Founder and President of Less Cancer, emphasizes the importance of evidence-based science in addressing the risks associated with PFAS chemicals and cancer. He commends the legislators for their efforts in working together to prioritize public health and protect future generations. With the support of comprehensive legislation and increased regulation of chemicals in cosmetics, the aim is to reduce cancer risks and create a safer environment for all.

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Less Cancer’s call for increased regulation of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics highlights the need to protect consumers from potential cancer-causing exposure. By urging the FDA to prioritize the registration of chemicals in cosmetics, the nonprofit is advocating for transparency and informed decision-making. Additionally, their support for comprehensive PFAS legislation demonstrates the organization’s commitment to addressing the risks associated with these harmful forever chemicals. Through evidence-based science and collaborative efforts, Less Cancer aims to lower cancer risks and safeguard the health of individuals now and in future generations.

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