by Kayla Fioravanti
Reprinted with permission
If you live in Colorado or sell cosmetics into Colorado it is time for you to speak up. Colorado has a proposed a bill before them during this session known as The Colorado Safe Personal Products Act. This Act is so broad and vague that if it passes in this form the personal care shelves in stores would go bare. You can read the entire bill here. To follow the bill as it is updated click here and change the range to House Bills 1201-1250 and then scan down to 1248.
As of February 3, 2010 the bill was assigned to House Judiciary Committee. There is a hearing scheduled March 1, 2010 for sponsors and those opposing the act to be heard. The committee meets in room 0107 (in the basement of the Capitol) beginning at 1:30 pm.
You can find the phone number and email addresses of your Colorado State Representative here. The bill is sponsored in the house by Dianne Primavera phone # 303-866-4667 click here to email, Dennis Apuan phone # 303-866-3069 click here to email, Karen Middleton phone # 303-866-3911 click here to email, Joe Miklosi Cap phone # 303-866-2910 click here to email.
The Women's Lobby of Colorado is holding open meetings. They support this bill and even have the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics logo on their website. Sadly, they have fallen for the bad science that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is using to cause hysteria. The voices of small businesses in the personal care industry need to be heard. The Women's Lobby of Colorado meetings are held at Colorado Education Association on the corner of Colfax and Grant—1500 Grant St—from 12:00-1:15 pm in the Bluebell Room. You can park free in their lot if you sign in in the lobby. Lunch will be provided. Upcoming meetings will be held March 3, March 17, March 31, February 3, April 14 and April 28.
I will go into the faults of this bill in greater depth within the next few days, but in the mean time let me point out some of the serious flaws of this bill.
"The bill creates the "Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act" (act), which prohibits a manufacturer from knowingly selling, offering for sale, or distributing for sale or use in Colorado on and after September 1, 2011, any personal care product that contains a chemical identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: Will these chemicals be ones that cause cancer when topically applied at normal usage percentges or will this information come from studies in which rats were injected with 100% concentration of said ingredients? There is a big difference between putting an diluated ingredient on the skin than injecting an ingredient into the body at full concentration.
"THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (23) DECLARES IT TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE (24) TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS SOLD AND (25) USED IN THIS STATE ARE SAFE AND DO NOT CONTAIN SUBSTANCES THAT (26) CAUSE CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: There should be acceptable limits set and not a complete ban on ingredients. Many things in nature in high doses are known to cause cancer; for instance the sun!
"2 (1) "AUTHORITATIVE BODY" MEANS THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES OR (3) FORMALLY ORGANIZED PROGRAMS OR GROUPS RECOGNIZED AS (4) AUTHORITATIVE FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFYING CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE (5) CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY:
6 (a) THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, (7) OR ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY;
(8) (b) THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, OR ITS (9) SUCCESSOR ENTITY;
10 (c) THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND (11) HEALTH, OR ITS SUCCESSOR ENTITY;
12 (d) THE NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM, OR ITS SUCCESSOR 13 PROGRAM; AND
14 (e) THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR RESEARCH ON CANCER, OR (15) ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: I think this portion of the bill gets to the heart of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), aka Skin Deep, aka Campaign for Safe Cosmetics entire agenda. The EWG wants to be that "or successor agency" mentioned in in the above list, my guess is the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel is not listed as a resource for information on cosmetic ingredient safety. Having any open ended "or successor agency" declare what causes cancer and what doesn't is dangerous.
The EPA is an interesting choice as an expert on cosmetics. I read over there list of cancer causing chemicals and only a very small handful are used in cosmetics at all. I will give further detail on this list and provide a link to it this week.
"5 25-5-1204. Prohibition - sale of personal care products (6) containing unsafe chemicals. ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, A (7) MANUFACTURER SHALL NOT SELL, OFFER FOR SALE, DISTRIBUTE FOR SALE, (8) OR DISTRIBUTE FOR USE IN THIS STATE ANY PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT (9) THAT CONTAINS A CHEMICAL IDENTIFIED AS CAUSING CANCER OR (10) REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY. (11) 25-5-1205. Enforcement by private citizens - civil penalty. (12) (1) ANY PERSON ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 25-5-1204 MAY (13) BRING AN ACTION AGAINST THE MANUFACTURER IN A COURT OF (14) COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE VIOLATION (15) OCCURRED. UPON FINDING A VIOLATION, IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER (16) RELIEF AUTHORIZED BY LAW, THE COURT SHALL ORDER THE (17) MANUFACTURER TO CEASE AND DESIST CONDUCT VIOLATING SECTION (18) 25-5-1204 AND SHALL ORDER THE MANUFACTURER TO PAY THE (19) PREVAILING PARTY REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.
20 (2) A MANUFACTURER THAT VIOLATES SECTION 25-5-1204 IS (21) SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER (22) VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A FIRST OFFENSE, AND UP TO TEN THOUSAND (23) DOLLARS PER VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT (24) OFFENSE. PENALTIES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE (25) DEPOSITED IN THE GENERAL FUND." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: Translation, the State of Colorado cannot afford to enforce this insane bill so they are leaving it in the hands of citizens to sue cosmetic companies. After California passed California Proposition 65 there was wide spread abuse. The lawyers got rich in California and companies wasted countless man hours and dollars defending themselves from all these lawsuits.
This bill does not address "naturally occurring" substances found in natural ingredients. For instance, lead would be banned, but lead is in water and cosmetics contain water. The issue is severely complicated with naturally occurring substances since there is a complete ban and not tolerable levels.
A great example of by-product of some cosmetics is formaldehyde. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. In cosmetics there is not an unusually high or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde. tissues. Formaldehyde is water soluble and is not stored in fat so it can be metabolized very quickly with a half life in the human body of about 1.5 minutes.
For a list of formaldehyde preservatives read here. Formaldehyde is naturally produced our bodies, the air that we breathe, and even the food we eat. Formaldehyde is emitted as a natural by-product in the cooking of certain vegetables like, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
How many small companies could afford to do business in Colorado if this bill passes as it is written today? Would you risk being fined $5000 or $10,000 when citizen take up bounty hunting cosmetic products for the promised cash reward? If you were completely innocent could you afford to defend yourself from these potential lawsuits?