California is the first state to ban 24 toxic ingredients from cosmetic and personal care products. The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act was signed into law in late September, marking history for California as the United State’s first state-level ban of the 24 harmful ingredients. The ingredient list includes mercury, which was found in 25 percent of skin-lightening creams sold in California. All of the ingredients on the list have been linked to very serious health conditions, including “cancer, birth defects, damage to the reproductive system, organ system toxicity, and endocrine disruption.”
Although this is a step in the right direction for the United States, it comes in sharp contrast to the European Union’s toxic cosmetics law, which bans over 1,400 harmful chemicals from personal care products. Ultimately, it is extremely important for consumers to look at the ingredient labels on products before making purchases in order to protect themselves from harmful chemicals and health concerns.
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