Pallone Calls for Legislation to Finally Update Cosmetics Law

Oct 19, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement regarding a new study that found that women have higher levels of triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a potentially harmful chemical used in a number of popular nail polish brands, in their bodies just 10 to 14 hours after painting their nails.  The Committee has jurisdiction over public health and the regulation of cosmetics.  TPHP, which has not been subject to review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in cosmetics, is a suspected endocrine disruptor, which are chemicals that interfere with the human hormone system and have been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth patterns, and developmental delays in children.

“Millions of Americans assume that the cosmetics they are using on a daily basis are considered safe, but that is a myth.  This latest study shows that these products can contain harmful chemicals, and that they are being absorbed into the body and putting consumers’ health at risk.

“Popular cosmetics and other personal care products continue to be largely unregulated, despite the fact that they can be found in almost every drugstore and nail salon across the country.  FDA does not have the framework or resources to review or approve the chemicals used in cosmetic products before they are sold to consumers or even regulate cosmetic products until after they have already reached the marketplace.

“Today’s report is another reminder that reforming our country’s cosmetics law is long overdue.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to draft bipartisan legislation this Congress that will finally allow FDA to ensure that cosmetics used every single day are not harmful.  Every day, consumers carefully decide which brands to buy and which products their families use—they deserve to know that they are making safe choices.”