California’s Senate has recently approved a bill to require cosmetic manufacturers to disclose fragrances or flavours of concern on their label. The Fragrance and Flavour Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019 is calling for expanding the disclosure requirements to fragrances and flavours that appear on any of more than 20 designated authoritative lists. In addition to companies being required to disclose the presence of these substances in cosmetics, they would also have to state whether the product is for consumer or professional use.

If adopted into law, it would companies would need to disclose fragrance allergens present in rinse-off cosmetics at 100 ppm or greater, or in leave-on products above 10 ppm. However, they would not need to specify the weight of the ingredient used, nor any formulation breakdowns.

According to a Chemical Watch article, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, one of the bill’s sponsors, says that existing laws permit “dozens – sometimes even hundreds – of chemicals to hide under the word ‘fragrance’ on the product labels of beauty and personal care products.” According to them, the legislation would address the issue of having unregulated toxic fragrance and flavour chemicals in cosmetic products.

Not everyone is in favour of this bill. The Personal Care Products Council and California Chamber of Commerce believe the bill is duplicative of existing laws, and that “the belief that fine fragrances present a human health hazard is unfounded.” According to these groups, having cosmetic ingredients listed in order of predominance, which has been a regulation since the 1960s, is sufficient.

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