At the turn of the year state public health officials launched an online cosmetic database which indicates what products may contain certain harmful chemicals in California.
The database has been nine years in the making and is the first state-run public resource where consumers can search by type of product, brand or ingredient, and will be shown if the product contains potentially hazardous ingredients.
However, Halyna Breslawec, PhD, Chief Scientist at the Council says consumers need to be fully informed of these ingredients.
“We appreciate the state's efforts to create an online repository of ingredient information already found on product labels and submitted to the FDA under the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP),” she says.
Breslawec explains that the state's website simply presents raw data that requires more context if it is to be meaningful and properly understood by the public.
“For example, it is important for consumers to be informed that the ingredients listed on the website are found at concentration levels that scientists and authoritative bodies in California and around the world have deemed safe,” she says.
“Other factors such as usage patterns that would provide consumers with necessary perspective are missing.”
In the U.S., a number of cosmetics and personal care products companies were pleased to announce they have provided a wealth of ingredient information to the State of California under the Safe Cosmetics Act, for the database.
The PCPC says the Safe Cosmetics program is aptly named because cosmetics are among the safest consumer products on the market.
This is because cosmetics and personal care products undergo rigorous scientific safety testing and review, and in the case of colors and products that qualify as over-the-counter drugs, are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the authority that regulates cosmetics.
Additionally, federal law mandates that companies substantiate the safety of their products before they are brought to market.