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Safe Cosmetics: a new law, a great organization, and a database to look at. If you are a cosmetics formulator, read this post!

In October, 2005, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a law that requires any company selling a personal care product in California that contains any ingredient that's a human carcinogen or reproductive toxin to disclose that to the Department of Health Services starting in 2007.

Personal care formulators don't like the law, because they feel it misleads consumers into thinking safe products are unsafe. For example, a product that is a potential carcinogen in powder form (because you inhale it) would not be in a liquid form (as in a shampoo or toothpaste). Yet, the company would still be required to disclose the fact that a potential carcinogen is in the liquid product.

The reporting information will not be on the product label, but it will be available online. For now, you can do some research at the Skin Deep website, which was created by an environmental NGO (non-governmental organization). Here is the URL:

Advocates of the law counter this by saying that having to make such disclosures will motivate companies to reformulate to make their products safer, and to make them rely less on known carcinogens or reproductive toxins.

200 companies have promised to do just that, including Body Shop, Kiss My Face, Burt's Bees, Avalon Natural Products, and Zia Natural Skin Care. The list of companies may be found at This is a very interesting website and organization and if you manufacture cosmetics, I encourage you to visit it and consider participating. (For the industry response to this organization, visit

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Hope you find all this helpful!
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