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Colorado proposes ban on cosmetics it claims cause cancer

By Katie Bird , 22-Feb-2010
Last updated on 22-Feb-2010 at 17:30 GMT2010-02-22T17:30:31Z

Colorado senators are calling on the state to crackdown on ‘cancer-causing’ chemicals in personal care products.

Senator Betty Boyd and Representative Dianne Primavera introduced the ‘Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act’ into the house earlier this month.

The Bill, number HB 1248, argues that ‘many personal care products contain chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity’.

If passed the act would prohibit, in the state of Colorado, the sale and distribution of personal care products that contain such ingredients, in addition to a fine of $5,000-10,000 for offending manufacturers.

This, the bill argues, is necessary in order to protect the citizens of the state as neither the FDA nor the Colorado Department of Public Health reviews and approves personal care products before sale.

The bill proposes to use existing lists of ‘harmful chemicals’ from bodies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, the international agency for research on cancer and the national toxicology program, in order to judge whether an ingredient is a carcinogen or a reproductive toxin.

A hearing to be held next week will see sponsors of the bill set out the supporting case, and those opposing the act, including the US trade association the Personal Care Products Council, challenging it, before it will be voted on by the committee.

Opposition from trade association

“We are opposing the bill,” vice president for public affairs and communication at the Personal Care Products Council Lisa Powers told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.

“They are proposing to ban products that are legally marketed under the FDA’s regulation. It is grossly overreaching and lacks any scientific basis,” she added.

If passed, citizens, rather than the state, would be the enforcers of the act.

This is not the traditional way of enforcing such a bill, commented Mike Thompson, senior vice president at the Personal Care Products Council.

“The way the bill has been presented allows the public and their attorneys to enforce it. Essentially, it allows the public to sue companies directly,” he said.

The hearing and vote on the bill is expected early next week. If passed it would move to a fiscal committee that would investigate the fiscal implications of the Act.

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